KFTC Investigation into Air Products Korea Contracting Practices

In February 2013, the Korean Fair Trade Commission closed its investigation into the contracting and pricing practices used by Air Products Korea in its supply of industrial gases in Ulsan, South Korea. A Compass Lexecon team including Professor Dennis Carlton, Mary Coleman, and Jonathan Bowater, working with Robert Schlossberg of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, counsel to Air Products, submitted an expert report to the KFTC on behalf of Air Products. In May 2012, the KFTC dismissed claims related to minimum take-or-pay and contract amount terms after an initial hearing in February 2012, but continued to pursue claims related to contract length, renewal, and early termination provisions. In February 2013, after a second hearing, the KFTC decided to close the investigation with no further action or undertakings from Air Products. The case was ultimately closed on the basis of the briefs and expert reports, and the examiner at the KFTC characterized Compass Lexecon’s report as excellent.