china's ministry of commerce

By John. D Colahan and David Zhou 


On 2 May 2017, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced its conditional clearance of the proposed US$130 billion all-stock merger of equals between the Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), marking the first conditional clearance that MOFCOM has granted this year. MOFCOM imposed structural and behavioural remedies on both parties — which are active in plastics, chemicals and agro-chemicals, among other sectors — to address various competition-related concerns. The transaction has been subject to merger control clearance from more than 25 competition authorities globally, including the European Commission, which granted conditional clearance on 27 March 2017.

MOFCOM’s concerns

MOFCOM found that the parties horizontally overlapped in nine different national agrochemical markets and seven different global material sciences and specialty products markets. MOFCOM also found that vertical relationships existed between the parties in an additional nine relevant global material sciences and specialty products markets. MOFCOM identified four markets where it believed that there was a risk of competition being eliminated or limited: (i) Chinese rice selective herbicides ,(ii) Chinese rice pesticides,(iii) global acid co-polymer market, and (iv) global ionomer market.