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Ball Corporation and Rexam PLC, In the Matter of

Ball Corporation has agreed to sell to Ardagh Group S.A. eight U.S. aluminum can plants and associated assets in order to settle charges that its proposed $8.4 billion acquisition of Rexam PLC is likely anticompetitive. According to the complaint, the acquisition would eliminate direct competition in the United States between Ball and Rexam, which are the first and second largest manufacturers of aluminum beverage cans in both the United States and the world. The complaint alleges without a divestiture, it is likely that the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition for standard 12-ounce aluminum cans in three regional U.S. markets – the South and Southeast, the Midwest, and the West. The complaint also alleges that the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition for specialty aluminum cans nationwide. Ball and Rexam produce specialty aluminum cans that range in size from 7.5 ounces to 24 ounces, come in different shapes, and are used to market a wide variety of different products such as portioncontrolled drinks and energy drinks. Under the terms of the consent agreement, Ball and Rexam are required to divest eight aluminum can plants and related assets in the United States to Ardagh, one of the world’s largest producers of glass bottles for the beverage industry and metal cans for the food industry. Ardagh will acquire aluminum can body plants in Fairfield, Calif., Chicago, Ill., Whitehouse, Ohio, Fremont, Ohio, Winston-Salem, N.C., Bishopville, S.C., and Olive Branch, Miss., and Rexam’s aluminum can end plant located in Valparaiso, Ind.. Ardagh also will acquire Rexam’s U.S. headquarters in Chicago, Ill., and Rexam’s U.S. Technical Center in Elk Grove, Ill.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
151 0088
Docket Number
C-4581

Reynolds American Inc., and Lorillard, Inc., In the Matter of

Tobacco companies Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. agreed to divest four cigarette brands to Imperial Tobacco Group to settle FTC charges that their proposed $27.4 billion merger would likely be anticompetitive. The order requires Reynolds to divest to Imperial four established cigarette brands: Winston, Kool, Salem, and Maverick. Imperial is an international tobacco manufacturer with a competitive presence in about 70 countries, but a comparatively small presence in the United States. With the acquisition of the divested assets, Imperial would become a more substantial competitor in the United States. The Commission’s order requires not only that the brands be divested, but also that Reynolds divest to Imperial the Lorillard manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina, and provide Imperial with the opportunity to hire most of the existing Lorillard management, staff, and salesforce. It also requires the newly merged Reynolds and Lorillard to provide Imperial with retail shelf space for a short period, and to provide other operational support during the transition.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
141 0168

Tecnica Group, In the Matter of

The FTC alleged that starting in 2004 Marker Völkl and Tecnica agreed not to compete with each other to secure endorsements by professional skiers, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Specifically, the FTC charges that Marker Völkl agreed not to solicit, recruit, or contact any skier who previously endorsed Tecnica skis, and Tecnica agreed to a similar arrangement with respect to Marker Völkl’s endorsers. In addition, the complaint states that in 2007, the companies expanded the scope of their non-compete agreement to cover all of their employees. The orders settling the FTC’s charges bar each firm from engaging in similar anticompetitive conduct in the future.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
121 0004

Marker Volkl, In the Matter of

The FTC alleges that starting in 2004 Marker Völkl and Tecnica agreed not to compete with each other to secure endorsements by professional skiers, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Specifically, the FTC charges that Marker Völkl agreed not to solicit, recruit, or contact any skier who previously endorsed Tecnica skis, and Tecnica agreed to a similar arrangement with respect to Marker Völkl’s endorsers. In addition, the complaint states that in 2007, the companies expanded the scope of their non-compete agreement to cover all of their employees. The proposed orders settling the FTC’s charges bar each firm from engaging in similar anticompetitive conduct in the future.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
121 0004

Visant/Jostens/American Achievement, In the Matter of

The Commission approved an administrative complaint, alleging that a combined Jostens/American Achievement Corp. ("AAC") would control an unduly high percentage of the high school and college rings markets, making it a dominant firm with only one smaller meaningful competitor in both markets.  The Commission charged that the proposed combination of Jostens and AAC would likely have been anticompetitive and led to higher prices and reduced service for both high school and college students who buy class rings.  The FTC also voted to seek a preliminary injunction in federal court to stop Jostens from proceeding with the proposed acquisition of its close rival, AAC.  On April 17, 2014, the parties abandoned their plans to merge.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
141 0033
Docket Number
9362