USA: The US Federal Trade Commission has closed its investigation into agreements between Honeywell and DuPont – now Chemours – over the sale of the HFO refrigerant R1234yf.

The low GWP refrigerant has been the subject of a number of patent disputes and competition investigations, many of which are still ongoing. At stake is the multi-million dollar market for the replacement of R134a in car air conditioning systems.

The Federal Trade Commission’s vote to close the investigation follows a recently announced initiative to close older, pending investigations where appropriate.

The non-public investigation sought to determine whether Honeywell and DuPont engaged in conduct that violated laws of restraint of trade or unfair competition.

In a letter to those involved, Federal Trade Commission secretary Donald S Clark said: “Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed.”

In 2014, the European Commission sent a statement of objections to Honeywell and DuPont that the cooperation they entered into in 2010, based on several agreements on the production of R1234yf may have limited its availability and technical development, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The outcome of that investigation is still awaited.

In June of this year, French refrigerant manufacturer Arkema launched a new complaint to the European Commission claiming Honeywell is abusing its dominant position in the use of R1234yf in car air conditioning systems.

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Arkema files new complaint over R1234yf2 June 2017
FRANCE: Refrigerant manufacturer Arkema has complained to the European Commission claiming Honeywell is abusing its dominant position in the use of R1234yf in car air conditioning systems. Read more…