FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition among Suppliers of Industrial Gases

July 18, 2016

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the proposed $13.4 billion merger of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. and Airgas, Inc. would likely be anticompetitive.

Under the terms of the order, first announced in May 2016, the companies are required to

divest assets used to produce and supply seven types of industrial gas: bulk oxygen, bulk nitrogen, bulk argon, bulk nitrous oxide, bulk liquid carbon dioxide, dry ice, and packaged welding gases sold in retail stores. The FTC is currently accepting public comments on an application by American Air Liquide Holdings to divest these assets to Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc., a Delaware-based subsidiary of Taiyo Nippon Sаnso Corporation of Japan.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 3-0. (FTC File No. 161 0045; the staff contact is Christine Tasso, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2232)

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