Canada's Competition Bureau has signed an agreement in favor of the proposed merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co., as long as the companies follow through on planned divestments of certain holdings involving packaging plastics and herbicides.
The agreement closely follows similar approval by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The agreement will have little impact on the plastics businesses of Dow or DuPont. It calls for Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont to divest parts of its crop protection portfolio and for Midland, Mich.-based Dow to divest its global ethylene acrylic acid copolymers and ionomers business.
The Canadian governmental review, announced June 27, concluded that divestments are required as the deal is likely to cause a substantial reduction or prevention of competition, and decrease innovation in the development and supply of some specialised packaging plastics and crop protection products. These concerns are in line of those expressed by anti-trust authorities in the U.S., Europe and Australia, who collaborated with the Canadian bureau.
The divestment of some of Dow's copolymer and ionomer products to SK Global Chemical, and much of DuPont's herbicides operations to FMC, had already been announced to meet concerns of the other authorities. The bureau decided these buyers are acceptable, as they are likely to compete effectively and support innovation in Canada.
"The agreement ensures that consumers and businesses continue to benefit from a dynamic marketplace which offers innovative solutions, increased choice and competitive prices," said John Pecman, commissioner of competition in Canada, in a news release.