On 6 October 2008, Ashland’s proposed acquisition of Hercules was cleared by the European Commission (Commission). Both companies are US specialty chemical producers. Hercules mainly manufactures and supplies specialty chemicals for the pulp and paper industry and Ashland supplies to a wide range of industries worldwide. The Commission found that there are several strong effective competitors in the market for supply of chemicals to the paper market and therefore the proposed transaction would not significantly impede competition in the European Economic Area.