FTC Seeks Public Comment on AEA Investors Application to Modify Order Related to Houghton International

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application by AEA Investors 2006 Fund L.P. to modify a 2010 final order related to the 2008 acquisition of D.A. Stuart GmbH by Houghton International Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of HHI Holding Corporation.  The FTC charged that the 2008 transaction was anticompetitive in the market for hot rolling oil used to process aluminum, and required the sale of some assets Houghton acquired from D.A. Stuart as part of the transaction.  AEA was included in the final order because at the time, Houghton was a wholly owned subsidiary of HHI Holding Corp., which itself was a subsidiary of AEA.

According to the application, AEA believes its inclusion in the order no longer serves the public interest, as it sold Houghton and HHI to Gulf Oil Corporation Limited in December 2012.  Because AEA no longer has any interest in Houghton or HHI, it contends its inclusion in the final order is no longer necessary to ensure Houghton’s compliance.

The Commission will decide whether to approve the application after the expiration of the public comment period.  Public comments may be submitted until February 11, 2013.  Written comments should be sent to:  FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580.  Comments also can be filed electronically.  Copies of the application also can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 081-0245,  Docket No. C-4297; the staff contact is Elizabeth Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press releases dated July 14, 2010 and August 31, 2010.)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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