WASHINGTON, D.C. — Charges by the federal government that an $80 billion merger of industrial gas suppliers Praxair Inc. and Linde AG would violate antitrust laws have been settled with an agreement by the companies to divest assets as a public comment period begins on the divesture.
The Federal Trade Commission has announced it is opening Praxair's and Linde's application to divest some of their industrial gas assets as per the settlement, to public comment. According to the FTC, Linde is proposing a sale of a Texas gas and carbon monoxide gas plant to LyondellBasell in order to comply with the settlement agreement to divest.
In October 2018, the FTC reached the agreement with Praxair and Linde and argued https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/10/ftc-requires-international-industrial-gas-suppliers-praxair-inc that the companies' proposed merger would hurt competition in the bulk liquid oxygen, nitrogen argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and refined helium markets.
The merger would have created the largest industrial gas company in the world, the FTC said. The FTC also alleged the merger would have opened up collusion among the remaining firms due to reducing the businesses in this market.
The FTC's 30-day comment period regarding Linde's application for the sale of its Texas facility will end Jan. 22.