WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Feb. 23 that Wilhelmsen Maritime Services’ proposed $400 million acquisition of Drew Marine Group would violate antitrust laws and reduce competition for marine water treatment chemicals that are used by global fleets.

Wilhelmsen, a Norwegian company, is the world's largest supplier of water treatment chemicals to global fleets. Drew, based in New Jersey, is the second largest. According to the FTC, the owners and operators of global fleets will be harmed by the acquisition. Head-to-head competition between the two companies will be reduced in important markets. The two companies compete heavily on product scope, quality and consistency; technical service capability; and global distribution footprint.

The FTC noted that tankers, container ships, bulk carriers, cruise ships and military support vessels use marine water treatment chemicals to support critical on-board equipment.

The FTC voted 2-0 to issue the administrative complaint. The administrative trial will start July 24, 2018.

Antitrust agencies in Singapore and the United Kingdom assisted the FTC in the case.

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