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In 2019, following a public comment period, the FTC has approved a modified final order requiring industrial gas suppliers Praxair, Inc. and Linde AG to sell assets in nine industrial gases product markets in numerous U.S. geographic markets to four divestiture buyers. The nine product markets in which the Commission alleged harm in its October 2018 complaint are bulk liquid oxygen, bulk liquid nitrogen, bulk liquid argon, bulk liquid carbon dioxide, bulk liquid hydrogen, bulk refined helium, on-site hydrogen, on-site carbon monoxide, and excimer laser gases. In November 2022, the FTC announced the approval of a petition to modify the final order in this case.
FTC Approves Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A.’s Petition for Prior Approval of its Acquisition of the Chromatography Equipment Business of Novasep Process SAS
In 2020, Danaher Corporation agreed to divest assets to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its proposed $21.4 billion acquisition of General Electric’s biopharmaceutical business, GE Biopharma, would violate federal antitrust law. Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A. is the approved divestiture buyer. Sartorius agreed to obtain the Commission’s prior approval if it proposed to acquire Novasep Process SAS’s chromatography equipment business. On Feb. 1, 2022, the Commission announced that it granted Sartorius’s petition to proceed with this acquisition.
FTC Requests Public Comment on Petition from Sartorius Stedim Biotech S.A. for Agency Approval of Its Acquisition of Chromatography Equipment Business of Novasep Process SAS
Statement of Chairman Joseph J. Simons and Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson Regarding a Petition for Modification in the Matter of Linde AG
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Rohit Chopra Regarding Petitions for Modifications in the Matter of Linde AG and Praxair LLC
The FTC issued an administrative complaint (and authorized staff to seek a TRO and PI which have not been filed) challenging the merger of two top suppliers of chloride process titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white pigment used in a wide variety of products including paint, industrial coatings, plastic, and paper. The FTC’s administrative complaint charges that Tronox Limited’s proposed acquisition of competitor Cristal, for $1.67 billion and a 24 percent stake in the combined entity, would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition in the North American market (comprised of the United States and Canada) for chloride process titanium dioxide. The FTC alleges that the acquisition, if consummated, would increase the risk of coordinated action among the remaining competitors, and increase the risk of future anticompetitive output reductions by Tronox.