OFT grounds for referring BOC / Ineos Chlor

Grounds (43 pages, PDF) for OFT's decision to refer the merger between BOC and Ineos Chlor to the Competition Commission because of fears of a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of packaged chlorine to the water industry.

Ineos is the sole manufacturer of raw chlorine in the UK, and one of two UK packagers (the other being Albion Chemicals). Chlorine is dangerous and difficult to transport internationally.

The OFT identifies two main risks of a substantial lessening of competition:

The OFT also took some account of the increased risks of illegal anti-competitive conduct that it thought were associated with the merger. This included a risk of collusion between Albion and the merged entity, and a risk of abuse of a (collective) dominant position in packaging to exclude distributors with no packaging facilities of their own.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Merger control, OFT, Water.

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