WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced April 28 that Industrial valve manufacturer Emerson Electric Co. has agreed to sell the switchbox business of Pentair plc to Crane Co. of Stamford, Connecticut, after FTC allegations that its proposed $3.15 billion acquisition of Pentair would violate federal antitrust law.

Emerson and Pentair both manufacture industrial valves and control products, including switchboxes. Switchboxes are a major product in oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical, power and other industries. According to the FTC, the acquisition would combine the two leading switchbox manufacturers as Emerson and Pentair own a combined 60 percent share of the market. The FTC believed competition would be harmed because significant time and investment is required to develop switchboxes. Therefore, the FTC argued, competition would not be restored after the acquisition by other brands.

With the settlement, Emerson must divest Westlock Controls Corp., the Pentair subsidiary that designs, manufactures, and sells switchboxes, to Crane within 10 days of acquiring Pentair.

The FTC voted 2-0 to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order.

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