Part 2 Consents
American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. and Airgas, Inc., agreed to divest certain production and distribution assets to settle charges that their proposed $13.4 billion merger likely would have harmed competition and led to higher prices in several U.S. and regional markets. The companies will sell assets used to produce and supply seven types of industrial gas: bulk oxygen, bulk nitrogen, bulk argon, bulk nitrous oxide, bulk liquid carbon dioxide, dry ice, and packaged welding gases sold in retail stores. These gases are used in a number of industries, including oil and gas, steelmaking, health care, and food manufacturing, according to the complaint. Under the proposed settlement order, Air Liquide will sell these assets to a Commission-approved buyer within four months after it acquires Airgas. The proposed consent agreement includes an asset maintenance order to ensure that Air Liquide and Airgas continue to act independently and maintain the relevant assets until they are divested.