EU Tests Rio Tinto Alcan’s Antitrust Commitments in Market
Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.’s commitments to overcome European Union antitrust concerns it unlawfully tied one of its technologies to its own equipment should be reviewed with the aluminum smelting market, regulators said.
The European Commission, the EU regulator, asked “interested parties” today to comment on commitments offered by Montreal-based Rio Tinto Alcan to assuage antitrust concerns over its practice of contractually tying its “AP aluminum smelting technology” to aluminum smelter equipment it supplies.
“Rio Tinto Alcan may have a dominant position on the relevant market for the licensing of aluminum smelting technology and its contractual practice may lead to higher prices, hamper innovation and shut out competitors” the Brussels-based commission said its preliminary assessment shows.
Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company, acquired aluminum maker Alcan Inc. for $38 billion in 2007. The EU investigation focuses on Alcan’s practices, and those of Rio Tinto Alcan after the merger, according to the commission’s statement today.
“We welcome this opportunity to conclude the European Commission’s investigation into the sale of AP aluminum smelting technology licenses,” London-based Rio Tinto said in an e- mailed statement.
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