Chemical mergers have been getting close scrutiny by government antitrust lawyers. Charges of monopoly and restraint of trade were leveled against Hooker Chemical Corp. in the phenolic resins field because of its acquisition of Durez Plastics and Chemicals in 1955, and against American Cyanamid Co. in the melamine resins field growing out of its acquisition of Formica Co. in 1956. Both firms deny the government allegations.
Also making headlines during the year were the drawn-out hearings on the drug industry by the Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly of the Senate Judiciary Committee, headed by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D., Tenn.). The Kefauver committee charged drug companies with setting high prices, profiteering, restraint of trade, and misleading advertising. Industry spokesmen flatly denied these charges, citing in their defense high research outlays, constant threats of product obsolescence, and sharp competition. Although the long hearings had no immediate impact on drug industry operations, administration officials made plans to tighten controls on some phases of the industry’s practices and on the introduction of new drugs.
- Chemical Industry in 1960: Expansions (egrejeen.wordpress.com)