WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice today announced that it filed a notice with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss its antitrust complaint regarding the potential acquisition of Falconbridge Limited by Inco Limited since Inco has formally abandoned its effort to acquire Falconbridge. The Department said that the lawsuit and proposed consent decree are no longer necessary since Falconbridge was instead acquired by Xstrata plc, a Swiss mining company, in August 2006. The Department said that Xstrata’s acquisition of Falconbridge does not pose any competitive problems.
On June 23, 2006, the Department filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that the acquisition would harm competition in the market for high-purity nickel. At the same time, the Department filed a proposed settlement of the lawsuit that would preserve competition by requiring Inco to divest a Norway nickel refinery and other related assets owned by Falconbridge in order to proceed with its more than $15 billion acquisition of Falconbridge.