Aspen Technology Inc will be forced to sell some of its engineering software to competitors after reaching a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations of anti-competitive behavior.
The row centers on Aspen’s $106.1m acquisition of engineering software company Hyprotech Ltd in 2002. Hyprotech, which provides process simulation software primarily to the oil and gas processing markets, was one of Aspen’s main competitors and the FTC claimed the merger would curb competition.
After spending $13m on fees in fighting the complaint, Aspen has agree to sell its operator training services business and rights to the Hyprotech product line to an FTC-approved buyer. Aspen will retain rights to continue selling and developing all of the engineering software products acquired in its acquisition of Hyprotech, such as the HYSYS family of products.
The FTC also said it had to find a buyer for its Axsys product line and it has agreed to sell this to Bentley Systems in a deal expected to close within the next 10 days.
This consent order contains strong relief to restore competition in this market, said Susan Creighton, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.
Aspen’s shares fell 26.69% to $5 when the settlement was announced on Friday.