Graco Inc. (NYSE: GGG) has settled charges from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it violated antitrust laws by licensing technology to Polyurethane Machinery Corp., a company that makes equipment for coatings.
The company sells fast set equipment, which is used by contractors to apply polyurethane foams and polyrea coatings, such as sealing or insulation.
The FTC charged that Graco violated antitrust laws by buying Gusmer Corp. in 2005 and GlasCraft Inc. in 2008, its closest North American competitors. Graco will also have to provide its competitors with easier access to distributors so they can distribute fast-set equipment products effectively in the North American market.
Before Graco’s acquisitions, fast set distributors typically carried products from multiple manufacturers. Graco, headquartered in Minneapolis, raised prices for its products, reduced options and innovation and raised barriers to entry for competitors, the FTC alleged in its complaint.