FTC has Granted in Part the Petition of Rohm and Haas Company, Thereby Ending the Company's Obligation to Obtain FTC Approval Before Acquiring an Interest in any Entity that Produces Architectural Acrylic Emulsion Polymers, an Ingredient in Exterior Latex Paints
The Federal Trade Commission has granted in part the petition of Rohm and Haas Company, thereby ending the company's obligation to obtain FTC approval before acquiring an interest in any entity that produces architectural acrylic emulsion polymers, an ingredient in exterior latex paints. In place of the prior- approval requirement, the FTC has imposed a prior-notice requirement, obligating the firm to notify the agency before going ahead with such acquisitions through Aug. 11, 2002.
Rohm and Haas is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based company.
The prior-approval provision at issue was included in a 1992 consent order Rohm and Haas signed to settle FTC charges that its acquisition of certain paint-related assets of Union Oil Company of California violated federal antitrust laws. The FTC alleged that the acquisition could substantially reduce competition and raise prices in the U.S. market for architectural acrylic emulsion polymers.
Rohm and Haas had petitioned the FTC to set aside the prior- approval requirement, pursuant to a new FTC policy under which the Commission no longer routinely includes prior-approval provisions in orders stemming from merger cases, and presumes that the public interest requires reopening such provisions in outstanding merger orders to make them consistent with the policy. Further, however, the Commission said it may impose prior-notice requirements where there is a credible risk that a respondent may engage in a potentially anticompetitive transaction that otherwise would not be reported to the FTC.
In this case, the Commission determined that Rohm and Haas failed to show that the competitive conditions that gave rise to the Commission's original case no longer exist, and also determined that the size of the possible future transactions that could raise anticompetitive concerns is below the thresholds that trigger government notification requirements. Thus, the Commission concluded, the record evidences a credible risk that Rohm and Haas would engage in future anticompetitive transactions that otherwise would not be reportable to the FTC, so that a prior- notice provision is warranted.
The Commission vote to reopen and modify the 1992 consent order was 5-0.
Copies of the order reopening and modifying the 1992 consent order, as well as the 1992 consent order and other documents associated with this case, 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 202-326-2710. 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
(FTC Docket No. C-3387)