EU Commission probes DuPont, Honeywell over new car refrigerant

16 December 2011 14:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Commission has opened antitrust proceedings to investigate agreements between US-based chemical major DuPont and Honeywell for the development of a new refrigerant for air conditioning systems in cars, it said on Friday.

The Commission is also investigating whether US-based chemical maker Honeywell may hold and abuse a dominant position over the new refrigerant, known as 1234yf, it said. The new product could replace existing refrigerants which no longer meet environmental protection standards.

“The Commission is investigating complaints alleging that Honeywell and DuPont have entered into anti-competitive arrangements as regards the development of the new generation of refrigerants,” it said in a statement.

Specifically, the Commission will investigate whether joint development, licensing and production arrangements entered into between the two companies may restrict competition on markets, it said.

The Commission did not say who filed the complaints.

Honeywell and DuPont last year agreed a joint venture to produce the new refrigerant for use in automotive air conditioning systems. At the time, they said the new refrigerant had a significantly lower “global warming potential” than an existing alternative product, hydrofluorocarbon HFC-134a.

For more on DuPont, Honeywell and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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