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FTC Approves Panasonic’s Application to Sell Assets It Uses to Manufacture Portable Sub-C Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved an application by Panasonic Corporation to sell to FDK Corporation assets from Panasonic’s facility in Suzhou, China that produce sub-C portable nickel metal hydride (“NiMH”) batteries. The FTC’s November 2009 order, settling charges that Panasonic’s $9 billion acquisition of Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. was anticompetitive, required Panasonic to divest a battery production plant in Takasaki, Japan to FDK, and to supply FDK with sub-C and D NiMH batteries, which are not produced at the Takasaki plant, from its Suzhou plant. The Order also required that Panasonic obtain the prior approval of the Commission for a sale of its Suzhou NiMH assets to FDK. The sale of the Suzhou NiMH assets to FDK means that the supply agreement will terminate because FDK will be able to produce the sub-C NiMH batteries on its own.

The Commission vote to approve the sale was 5-0. (FTC File No. 091 0050, Docket No. C-4274; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526)

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.

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