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FTC Approves Modified Consent Order for Graco Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a modified final order settling charges that equipment manufacturer Graco Inc.’s $650 million acquisition of certain finishing equipment businesses of Illinois Tool Works was anticompetitive.

Under the proposed settlement reached in 2012, the Commission allowed Graco to complete its acquisition but required it to hold separate several ITW businesses until those assets are divested. After the end of the public comment period, additional information led the Commission to require Graco to agree to certain modifications to the proposed consent order.

The Commission has now issued its modified final order, adding provisions that address two issues:

  • an existing supply agreement for disposable paint cups and lids, which, if terminated, could have undermined the effectiveness of the divestiture in preserving competition in the market relating to the manufacture and sale of industrial liquid finishing equipment; and  
  • the allocation of intellectual property assets for certain powder finishing products.

The Commission vote to approve the modified final order was 2-0-1-2, with Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Commissioner Julie Brill voting yes, Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen abstaining, and Commissioners Joshua D. Wright and Terrell McSweeny not participating. (FTC File No. 111-0169; Docket No. 9350; the staff contacts are Peter Richman, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2563; and Elizabeth Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623.)

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.