Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

ASPEN TECH VIOLATES TERMS OF 2004 FTC CONSENT ORDER RELATED TO ITS PURCHASE OF HYPROTECH, LTD.

On July 6, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) modified a 2004 consent order against Aspen Technology, Inc. (“Aspen Tech”).

On May 31, 2002, Aspen Tech consummated a $106.1 million acquisition of Hyprotech, Ltd., its closest competitor in developing and supplying certain specialized engineering
process simulation software products, according to the FTC. In August 2003, the FTC challenged the acquisition stating that the transaction would violate antitrust statutes and lessen competition in several U.S. software markets. In July 2004, Aspen Tech, through an FTC consent order, was required to divest software assets to Honeywell International, Inc. (“Honeywell”).

However, according to the FTC, Aspen Tech violated the consent order by not divesting these assets in a timely fashion and preventing Honeywell to enter the market in time to restore competition in the software markets under concern. The new order requires Aspen Tech to take additional steps to restore competition and requires Aspen Tech to submit to oversight by an FTC-approved monitor, which will help ensure that it complies with its divestiture requirements.

Robert Doyle
(202) 589-1834
rdoyle@dbmlawgroup.com