EU regulators say DuPont, Honeywell may have restricted competition in refrigerants market

Markets Associated Press

Regulators in Europe say an agreement between DuPont and Honeywell to develop automobile refrigerant may be violating antitrust rules.

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The U.S. companies entered into a partnership in 2010 to develop the refrigerant after new standards on vehicle air conditioning were put into place in Europe, but the European Commission said Tuesday that a series of agreements between The DuPont Co. and Honeywell International Inc. may be hindering competition.

The DuPont Co., based in Delaware, says said it has complied with European laws and plans to defend itself vigorously. Honeywell, based in New Jersey, called the EU objections baseless.

The commission said its preliminary view is that the companies may have limited the refrigerant's availability and technical development, in breach of EU antitrust rules.