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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

FTC: 2 fertilizer, chemical companies to divest production facilities before merger

By Mark Iandolo | Jan 11, 2018

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Dec. 27 that Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc., fertilizer and chemical companies with headquarters in Canada, will divest two U.S. production facilities in order to complete their proposed merger.

The FTC alleged that, without any remedies, the proposed merger will negatively impact competition in two relevant markets—the North American market for superphosphoric acid (SPA) and the Ohio market for “65-67 percent concentration nitric acid.”

The two companies competed head to head for sales of SPA, and are part of vigorous competition for 65-67 percent concentration nitric acid. Without a remedy, that competition would be lost, the FTC said, and the merged company could raise prices. Additionally, the merger could lead to more coordination between competitors in the market.

The FTC voted 2-0 to approve the issuance of complaints, as well as to accept the proposed consent order for public comment. The proposed consent order is currently available for public comment until Jan. 29. The agency will then determine whether to finalize the order. It noted that the consent agreement package will be published in the Federal Register.

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U.S. Federal Trade Commission