DuPont, Honeywell Expected to Face Antitrust Complaint from EU over New Refrigerant
Following a lengthy investigation, the antitrust arm of the European Union (EU) is expected to file a formal complaint targeted at DuPont Co. and Honeywell International Inc., joint developers of the new refrigerant hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-1234yf. The complaint will point to anticompetitive arrangements made by these companies prior to and during the development of HFO-1234yf, the only refrigerant approved in the EU for use by new vehicles starting in 2017 due to its low global-warming potential. Given that DuPont and Honeywell are the sole producers of HFO-1234yf, their initial pact to develop, license and sell this product has been closely scrutinized by both their competitors and the EU.
DuPont and Honeywell have set their sights high for HFO-1234yf, which was created to replace hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-134a, a refrigerant that is now used in most motor vehicles but is being phased out in Europe due to its high global-warming potential. Honeywell recently announced that it expects to receive $1.5 billion in revenue over five years from HFO-1234yf.
Both companies have been adamant that they acted in full compliance with EU competition law.