Recent News

FTC Requests Public Comment on Application from Cement Manufacturers Holcim and Lafarge to Approve Divestiture of Holcim Assets

The Federal Trade Commission is currently accepting public comments on an application by Holcim LTD. and Lafarge S.A. to sell various Holcim cement assets to an affiliate of the international cement company CRH International.

The divestiture is required by the FTC’s May 2015 proposed order settling charges that the $25 billion merger of Holcim and Lafarge would create the world’s largest cement manufacturer and likely harm competition for portland cement—an essential ingredient in making concrete—in 12 geographic markets in the United States.  The proposed divestiture would maintain competition in two of those markets, western Montana and portions of the Great Lakes. The cement assets to be divested include plant and terminal assets in Ontario, Canada; Buffalo, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit and Dundee, Michigan; and Duluth, Minnesota (collectively known as the “Canada/Great Lakes Assets”); and plant and terminal assets in Three Forks, Montana, and Alberta, Canada (collectively known as the “Trident Assets”).

Holcim requests approval to divest these assets to CRH. The divestiture application describes CRH as a highly regarded global materials group, which is capable of operating the Canada/Great Lakes and Trident Assets as an independent and effective competitor.

The parties’ proposed divestiture to CRH also addresses competition concerns raised by the Canadian Competition Bureau, and includes a larger group of Holcim assets located in Canada that Holcim and Lafarge have agreed to divest to address competitive concerns raised by the CCB.

The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of a 30-day public comment period. Public comments may be submitted until July 10, 2015. Written comments should be sent to:  FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments can also be filed electronically. (FTC File No. 141 0129, Docket No. C-4519; the staff contact is Dan Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.