The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday won a temporary restraining order blocking Occidental Petroleum's proposed $70-million acquisition of Tenneco's polyvinyl chloride business.
The commission concluded at a meeting Thursday morning that "it had reason to believe that the proposed acquisition could substantially reduce competition" in three PVC resin product markets. The three markets are mass and suspension PVC, suspension PVC copolymer and dispersion PVC.
PVC is an industrial plastic used to make such products as pipe, wire insulation and floor and wall coverings.
The agency's staff went to court Thursday afternoon in Washington seeking a preliminary injunction blocking the acquisition by Occidental Chemical, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, of the PVC manufacturing assets of Tenneco Polymers Inc., a subsidiary of Tenneco Inc.
U.S. District Judge Harold Greene granted a 10-day restraining order, saying that he considered the commission's case strong enough to warrant a hearing for a preliminary injunction, an FTC spokeswoman said. The commission's staff can apply for another restraining order after the current order lapses, and the judge can set a hearing date on an injunction anytime during the temporary restraining orders, she said.