The Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition by Huntsman of a number of equity interests held by Rockwood. Both companies are established in the US. Huntsman, is active internationally in the chemicals sector and produces a wide range of specialty and intermediate chemicals, including titanium dioxide. Rockwood is also active worldwide in the chemicals sector, among others in the markets for titanium dioxide and functional additives under the name “Sachtleben”. The business of Rockwood that Huntsman plans to acquire includes the production of titanium dioxide and functional additives. The Commission’s preliminary investigation revealed that the proposed transaction would raise competition concerns in the market for sulphate-based titanium dioxide in the European Economic Area (“EEA”), and more particularly in applications using sulphate-based titanium dioxide where Huntsman and Sachtleben are the two leading suppliers worldwide and compete closely. Titanium dioxide is a chemical used for whitening dishes, paper, bathtubs, clothing, toothpaste, cream, cookies, PVC window frames, etc. The total size of the EEA titanium dioxide market is around EUR 3 billion. The Commission has concerns that the remaining competitors may not be able to exert sufficiently strong competitive constraints on the merged entity in specialty markets using sulphate-based titanium dioxide. According to the Commission, the removal of the competitive constraint may lead to less choice for customers and potentially to higher prices for the products concerned. Next, the Commission will conduct an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition to determine whether its initial concerns are confirmed or not. The Commission has 90 working days, until 22 July 2014, to take a decision. Source: Commission Press Release 5/3/2014