Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

April 06, 2009 15:57 ET

Competition Bureau Canada: BASF Acquisition of Ciba Cleared Following Divestiture Commitment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 6, 2009) - The Competition Bureau announced today that commitments made by BASF SE to the Bureau, European Union Competition Directorate and U.S. Federal Trade Commission have resolved the Bureau's competition concerns over BASF's proposed acquisition of Ciba Holding AG. These two multinational companies produce and sell specialty chemical products.

The Bureau concluded that the merger would likely result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in Canada for the supply of indanthrone blue and bismuth vanadate pigments. These pigments are used in products such as paints and automobile coatings. BASF and Ciba are major world-wide suppliers of these pigments and the Bureau was concerned, among other things, about the potential for higher prices for certain Canadian customers.

BASF has made commitments to the Bureau that they will divest Canadian intangible assets, including required intellectual property rights relating to the marketing and sales activities of these pigments in Canada, and all customer accounts located in Canada. This divestiture will be included as part of BASF's agreement with the European Commission's Competition Directorate and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to divest Ciba's global indanthrone blue and bismuth vanadate businesses.

"After an extensive review of this transaction, we are confident that BASF's commitments to divest these pigments will remedy our concerns," said Adam Fanaki, Acting Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition, Mergers Branch.

Over the course of its review, the Bureau consulted with its counterparts at the European Commission's Competition Directorate and at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

In merger cases where there is a likely substantial lessening or prevention of competition in Canada, the Bureau will seek a remedy to resolve these concerns. When appropriate, the Bureau will agree to support the remedies agreed to in other jurisdictions, provided that the Bureau is satisfied that the remedy is sufficient to address any Canadian issues.

The Competition Bureau is an independent agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

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