| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1992
ANTITRUST SUIT AND PROPOSED CONSENT DECREE FILED
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today filed a civil antitrust suit challenging the acquisition of Hollis Automation Co. by Electrovert U.S.A. Corp. At the same time, the Department filed a proposed consent decree to resolve the Department's competitive concerns.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, alleged that the acquisition violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act by substantially lessening competition in United States high performance and mid-range wave soldering machine markets. Wave soldering machines are used to attach electronic components to printed circuit boards.
The proposed decree would require Electrovert to grant North American rights to all of Hollis' wave soldering technology to two other firms presently selling wave soldering machines in the United States. The technology that would be licensed includes Hollis' patented "hot air knife," a device that improves the quality of soldering. About 75 percent of the wave soldering machines sold by Hollis in 1991 contained a hot air knife.
Charles A. James, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, said, "This settlement will preserve competition in the markets for wave soldering machines. Licensing Hollis' wave soldering technology to other industry participants will enable these firms more effectively to meet the full range of customer needs."
Electrovert U.S.A. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electrovert Ltd. of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cookson Group plc of London, England.
Electrovert is the largest North American producer of mid-range wave soldering machines and the second largest North American producer of high performance wave soldering machines.
Hollis, headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire, was the second largest North American producer of mid-range wave soldering machines and the largest North American producer of high performance wave soldering machines.
The court must approve the proposed decree following expiration of a 60-day comment period in compliance with the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act.
Interested persons may comment within the statutory 60-day time period by writing to P. Terry Lubeck, Chief, Litigation II Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 555 Fourth Street, N.W., Room 10-437, Washington, D.C. 20001