L'Air Liquide Societe S.A. has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to reopen and set aside a 1987 consent order

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L'Air Liquide Societe S.A. has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to reopen and set aside a 1987 consent order that requires it to obtain FTC approval before acquiring stock or assets of any U.S. liquid gas producer.

The prior-approval requirement is part of a consent order following L'Air Liquide's 1987 acquisition of Big Three Industries, Inc.

L'Air Liquide is based in Paris, France.

L'Air Liquide seeks termination of the provision pursuant to the Commission?s recently-announced prior-approval policy. Under that policy, the FTC said that with certain exceptions, it no longer will routinely include prior approval provisions in orders stemming from merger cases and that it presumes that the public interest requires reopening such provisions in outstanding merger orders and making them consistent with the policy. L?Air Liquide stated in its application that the only order provisions that remain in effect are the prior approval and related reporting requirements, so the order should be set aside entirely.

The petition will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until Jan 8, 1996, after which the Commission will issue its decision. Comments should be addressed to FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

Copies of the petition are available from the FTC?s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC?s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov

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