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Archived — Competition Bureau clears Dow Chemical's acquisition of Rohm and Haas

OTTAWA, January 23, 2009 — The Competition Bureau announced today that commitments made by Dow Chemical Company to the Bureau and to U.S. antitrust authorities have resolved the Bureau's competition concerns with Dow's proposed acquisition of Rohm and Haas Company.

Dow has agreed to divest certain assets, including certain Canadian intangible assets, as part of its commitments. Among other things, Dow Chemical will include in the divestitures the transfer of all required intellectual property rights relating to the marketing and sale of the divested products in Canada.

"After an extensive review of this transaction and given Dow Chemical's divestitures and other commitments to the Bureau, the parties have remedied our concerns," said Melanie Aitken, Interim Commissioner of Competition.

The Bureau had concluded that the merger would likely result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in Canada for the supply of certain acrylic acid products (used to create polymers), acrylic latex polymer products (used as inputs to make paints and coatings, cement additives, and caulks and sealants in construction products), and hollow sphere particle products (used to give gloss and opacity to paper). Both Dow Chemical and Rohm and Haas are large suppliers of these chemicals in Canada and the Bureau was concerned about the impact of the merger, including the potential for higher prices.

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

"For all mergers, if there is a likely substantial lessening or prevention of competition in Canada, the overriding concern for the Bureau is to secure a remedy that will resolve it. Where appropriate, the Bureau will agree to support and/or use as a starting point, the remedies agreed to in other jurisdictions, provided that the Bureau is satisfied that a sufficient remedy is implemented to address any Canadian issues," added Ms. Aitken.

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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