Two weeks after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) challenged Lehigh Cement’s planned acquisition of Keystone Cement, the commission said the two rival producers have abandoned the deal.
“This is great news for cement customers in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey,” said FTC Acting Bureau of Competition Director Maribeth Petrizzi. “The FTC voted 4-0 to challenge this transaction because it would have reduced the number of significant competitors in the market for gray portland cement in this region from four to three. I’m grateful to the bureau’s staff for their tireless efforts throughout this investigation, but also to our partners in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, who worked closely with us to ensure that cement customers in this region will continue to benefit from competition between Lehigh and Keystone.”
In the FTC’s administrative complaint, it also said that the planned acquisition would significantly reduce competition for cement customers as the combined firm would be able to unilaterally raise prices or reduce output and quality.
Lehigh disagreed with the FTC’s allegations, arguing that the acquisition “would be an excellent strategic fit for Lehigh Hanson and this transaction would be beneficial to our customers, employees and stakeholders.”
The deal was originally announced in September 2019.