WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) announced the filing of an administrative complaint against
Superior Plus Corp. and Canexus Corp., alleging that their proposed $982
million merger would violate antitrust laws.
Superior is based in Toronto, while Canexus is based in
Alberta. The chemical suppliers are two of the three primary producers of
sodium chlorate in North America. Sodium chlorate is a commodity chemical for
bleaching wood pulp that is used for products such as paper, tissue and diaper
liners. If the merger gets finalized, the new company and rival AkzoNobel would
control close to 80 percent of the total sodium chlorate production capacity in
The FTC’s complaint states that
sodium chlorate has no viable substitute. It also claims that there are no
meaningful imports to compete against the North American producers.
The FTC believes that a merger
would lead to anti-competitive reductions in output and higher prices.
Additionally, building a new manufacturing facility would cost roughly $200
million and involve a time-consuming construction project. The FTC claims that
this makes the barrier to new entry into the market high. Entry is unlikely, the
The FTC voted 3-0 to issue the
administrative complaint and seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary
injunction in federal court. The administrative trial is set to begin on