Titanium Dioxide

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The duPont Titanium. D;oX~ e Case °d

In April of 1978, E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company was charged with violation of section 2 of the Sherman Act and l section 5 of the FTC act. The complaint charged duPont with attempting to monopolize the production of titanium dioxide pigment. The pigment is used in paper and paint to increase There' are no close substitutes for

the degree of whiteness.

the product, although fillers can be used in some applications to decrease the amount used. 2 In August of 1979, Administrative Law Judge Brown found duPont did not violate the antitrust statutes and that they had achieved th.eir market position as "'the result of business fore sight, intelligent planning • ,., [and] the taking of economic risk. ,,3 The Federal Trade Commission upheld the ALJ's decision on November 20, 1980. The commission relied primarily on the

rationale stated in the Alcoa case that a monopolist may have had monopoly "'thrust upon it:'" "persons may unwittingly find themselves in possession of a monopoly, automatically so to say. , .. they may become monopolists by force of accident, A single producer may be the survivor out of a group of active competitors, merely by virtue of his superior skill, foresight and industry. In such cases a strong argument can be made that, although the result may expose lIn re E.I, duPont de Nemours and Company, Dkt. No.9l08, F.T.C:, 4/10/78. 2Ibid ., ALJ Decision. 3 Ibid .

the public to the evils of monopoly, the Act does not mean to condemn the resultant of those very farces which it is its prime object to foster."4 (emphasis added) The geographic ~arke;l in this case is the nation. 5 From 1972 to 1977 DuPont "s market share increased from 30% to 42%. ,

DuPont projects a 55% market share by 1985.


DuPont has a distinct technological advantage over its competitors, There are three processes that can be used to The least efficient is the sulfate

manufacture Ti02. process:

Since 1960,...
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