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U.S. Department of Justice Seal and Letterhead
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 1996
AT
(202) 616-2771
TDD (202) 514-1888


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PRESERVES COMPETITION IN MARKET FOR DRINKING WATER QUALITY MONITORS;

DEPARTMENT CLEARS PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC COMPANY'S ACQUISITION OF MET ONE INC. SUBJECT TO DIVESTITURE

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Department of Justice today cleared a deal between two companies that manufacture and sell air and liquid quality measuring devices--as long as one of the companies divests a line of these products used by municipal water plants to ensure the safety of drinking water.

The products, known as drinking water particle counters, are used to protect drinking water against contamination by deadly microorganisms.

Pacific Scientific Co. of Newport, California, has agreed to divest its drinking water particle counter business as a condition of acquiring Met One Inc. of Grants Pass, Oregon.

Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division, said, "It's important to preserve competition in this market to keep these devices affordable for municipalities so that they can protect their citizens from deadly contamination."

The Department noted that in 1993, 28 people in Milwaukee died as a result of drinking water contamination, prompting city officials to acquire particle counters.

The Department's Antitrust Division investigated Pacific Scientific's acquisition of Met One to determine if the deal as originally proposed would violate antitrust laws by reducing competition in the sale of drinking water particle counters.

Under the proposed settlement, Pacific Scientific has agreed to find a suitable buyer for its drinking water particle counter business that will become a viable competitor in the marketplace. If, ultimately, Pacific Scientific cannot find a satisfactory purchaser for these assets, the Department can apply to the court for the appointment of a trustee to sell Pacific Scientific's drinking water particle counter business. The Department of Justice will have the sole discretion to accept or reject potential buyers.

Pacific Scientific manufactures and sells drinking water particle detection equipment through its HIAC/ROYCO division located in Silver Spring, Maryland.

An agreement has been reached with the parties and the Department will file a complaint and proposed consent decree that would formally resolve the Antitrust Division's anticompetitive concerns.

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