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In the Matter of Flow International Corporation, a corporation
FTC Matter/File Number
081 0079
Enforcement Type
Part 2 Consents

Case Summary

The Commission challenged Flow International Corporation’s proposed $109 million acquisition of rival waterjet manufacturer OMAX Corporation. Both corporations develop, manufacture, and sell computerized waterjet cutting systems which use pressurized water mixed with abrasive garnet particles to cut various materials, including steel and stone. The proposed acquisition would have united the two largest competitors in the market for the manufacture and sale of computerized waterjet cutting systems and allowed Flow to exercise market power and increase prices. Furthermore, the Commission charged that entry would be very unlikely because OMAX received two broad patents relating to the control systems for waterjet cutting systems. The Commission approved a consent agreement requiring OMAX to grant any request for a royalty-free license for its controller patents.