U.S. requires Bosch to sell air conditioning service unit
WASHINGTON -- German automotive supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which aims to become the leading maker of equipment for recharging vehicle air conditioning systems, must sell a subsidiary to satisfy U.S. regulators.
Under a proposed settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Bosch will sell RTI Technologies Inc. to a unit of Germany’s Mahle GmbH to clear the way for Bosch’s acquisition of SPX Service Solutions, which makes automotive service and diagnostic tools.
In a statement today, the commission said Bosch would otherwise have a near-monopoly on the market for the devices that automotive technicians use to empty and refill refrigerants in air conditioning systems.
The company will still take a commanding position by purchasing SPX, which has about an 80 percent share of the market for air conditioning service devices. Bosch and its subsidiaries have a combined 10 percent share, according to the FTC.
A Bosch spokeswoman confirmed the details of the proposed settlement, which regulators will need to finalize after taking public comments for the purchase of SPX to proceed. The proposed settlement cleared the commission by a 3-2 vote. There is no known organized opposition to the transaction.
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