In my March 22 posting I passed on the report that Sherwin-Williams is buying Valspar for $11 billion creating one huge supplier of many brands of finishing products we use. But not so fast. Now the Federal Trade Commission is beginning to investigate on antitrust grounds.
Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, this administration doesn’t have the best record of stemming the formation of monopolies. But, then, previous administrations in the modern era haven’t done a good job either.
Two previous consolidations in the finishing world that I couldn’t believe were being allowed were Illinois Tool Works buying Binks Spray Guns and combining it with DeVilbiss Spray Guns, and RPM Rustoleum buying Star Finishing Products and combining it with Mohawk Finishing Products.
In both cases the two hugely dominant players in the marketplace were allowed to become one.
But capitalism being what it is, the combining of Binks and DeVilbiss opened the market to a number of German and Japanese spray-gun manufacturers, and the combining of Star and Mohawk opened the market to a number of smaller touch-up products suppliers, including Gemini, Touch Up Solutions, Touchup Depot and the German company Konig North America.
So I guess it all works out anyway.
Want to learn more about finishing from Bob Flexner?
Check out his book “Flexner on Finishing,” at shopwoodworking.com