Hoechst A.G. and its U.S. subsidiaries have petitioned the Federal Trade Commission reopen and modify a 1991 consent order to end their obligation to obtain Commission approval before acquiring any interest in a firm that owns or operates assets to produce acetal anywhere in the world. Hoechst is a German firm and its co-petitioners are Hoechst Corp. And Hoechst Celanese Corp., both of Bridgewater, New Jersey. Comments on the petition will be accepted for 30 days, until Feb. 1.
Acetal is an engineering thermoplastic polymer used as a replacement for metal in small mechanical parts such as gears and rollers in automobiles and in consumer products, including videotape recorders, lawn sprinklers, pens and disposable lighters.
The respondents filed the petition in accordance with the FTC's prior approval policy, under which the Commission no longer routinely includes prior-approval provisions in orders stemming from merger cases, and presumes the public interest requires reopening such provisions in outstanding merger orders to make them consistent with the policy.
The prior-approval provision in this case is included in a 1991 consent order settling FTC charges that the acquisition of Celanese Corp. By Hoechst AG and Hoechst Corp. violated federal antitrust laws, because it was likely to substantially lessen competition in the manufacture and sale of acetal in world markets.
Comments should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the petition and the 1991 order are available from the FTCþs 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 FTCþs World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC Docket No. 9216)