Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the acquisition by Tronox Limited of competitor Cristal would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition for chloride process titanium dioxide in the United States and Canada.
According to the complaint, which was first announced in December 2017, Tronox’s proposed acquisition of Cristal, for $1.67 billion and a 24 percent stake in the combined entity, would increase the risk of coordinated action among the remaining competitors and the likelihood of future anticompetitive output reductions by Tronox.
Under the settlement, which was reached after the FTC won key victories before a federal court and an Administrative Law Judge in its case to block the transaction, Tronox and Cristal must divest Cristal’s North American titanium dioxide assets, thereby preserving competition in the market for this important and widely used compound.
The Commission vote approving the final order was 5-0. (The staff contact is Robert Tovsky, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2634)
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