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US: FTC scratches paint supplier merger with antitrust challenge

 |  December 6, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an administrative complaint challenging the merger of two top suppliers of chloride process titanium dioxide (“TiO2”), a white pigment used in a wide variety of products including paint, industrial coatings, plastic, and paper.

The FTC’s administrative complaint charged that Tronox Limited’s proposed acquisition of competitor Cristal, for US$1.67 billion and a 24% stake in the combined entity, would violate antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition in the North American market (comprised of the United States and Canada) for chloride process titanium dioxide. The FTC alleges that the acquisition, if consummated, would increase the risk of coordinated action among the remaining competitors, and increase the risk of future anticompetitive output reductions by Tronox.

The Commission also authorized agency staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal court, if necessary, to maintain the status quo pending an administrative trial on the merits.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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