Decision Nº M/03/011 from Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, 2003-06-30

Decision Date30 June 2003
Decision NumberM/03/011
Date30 June 2003
PartiesGeneral Electric Company,Crompton Corporation
StatusCleared (Phase 1)
CourtCompetition and Consumer Protection Commission (Ireland)
Determination of the Competition Authority
Determination No. M/03/011 of the Competition Authority, dated 13 June 2003,
Notification No. M/03/011 – General Electric Company/Crompton Corporation
1. On 16 May 2003 the Competition Authority, in accordance with Section 18(1) of
the Competition Act, 2002 (“the Act”) was notified, on a mandatory basis, of a
proposal whereby General Electric Company would acquire the silicones
business of Crompton Corporation.
The Parties
2. General Electric Company (“GE”) is an independent public company registered
in the USA. It is a diversified corporation active in a wide range of fields,
including polymers, plastics and speciality materials. In Europe, GE is active in
the silicones sector through GE/Bayer, a joint venture with Bayer AG.
3. Crompton Corporation (“Crompton”) produces and markets polymer products
and speciality chemicals, including standard and speciality silicone fluids.
Product Market
4. In Case 1162 - GE/Bayer, 11 June 1998, the European Commission noted that
whilst from the demand-side the silicones sector would comprise thousands of
"micro markets" according to the specific applications for which the silicones are
used, supply-side considerations would lead to a regrouping into wider product
categories. On this basis, whilst declining to the define precisely the markets
concerned the Commission noted that the five product groups offered by the
parties - intermediates, fluids, specialities, elastomers, sealants - were recognised
in the industry to analyse silicones and were sufficient to assess the impact of the
transaction in question.
5. The Commission’s analysis is a useful starting point for the purposes of analysing
the impact of this proposal and thus, on the basis of this product grouping, the
only relevant overlaps between GE and Crompton occur in fluids and specialities.
Geographic Market
6. The Commission further considered that “in view of the absence of barriers to
trade, the low impact of transport costs the purchase patterns of customers, the
homogeneity of price levels and the substantial intra-community trade flows, the
narrowest conceivable market would be the EU.”

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