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Teachable moments, cautionary tales from FTC Lafarge, Holcim review file

Last month’s merger forming LafargeHolcim Ltd. expedited transfer of more than $1 billion in cement, concrete and aggregate production and distribution assets in the U.S. and Canada. The Federal Trade Commission justified a decision and order on the sale of those properties per Section 7 of the Clayton Act, a century-old law augmenting the Sherman Act of 1890. It prohibits mergers if “in any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce in any section of the country, the effect of such acquisition may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly,” FTC notes.

 

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A favorable mid-year outlook

As we compiled our annual Buyers’ Guide Issue, complete with new listings and references in admixture, fleet, plant equipment and other categories, one market indicator after another painted construction activity favoring investment in concrete production and delivery. Industry economists and market observers view the first half of 2015 positively, and confirm a moderate to upbeat outlook for at least the next three years.

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