The United States and Canada have given clearances for Switzerland-based Holcim Ltd. and France's Lafarge SA's proposed merger. Announced May 4, the approval represents another milestone in completing the arrangement and requires that the companies complete several Federal Trade Commission-specified divestments. According to an FTC press release:

Because cement products are heavy and relatively cheap, transportation costs limit their markets to local or regional areas. The complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition would likely substantially lessen competition in the following 12 geographic markets for portland cement: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Duluth, Minnesota; western Wisconsin; eastern Iowa; Memphis, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; New Orleans, Louisiana; Detroit, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan; northern Michigan; western Montana; and Boston, Massachusetts-Providence, Rhode Island. The complaint also alleges that the merger would likely harm competition in two regional markets for slag cement: the Mid-Atlantic and the western Great Lakes

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