Case Details

Year Initiated/Committed


Year Resolved


Settlement Amount



Kennebec Superior Court, Maine

Docket Number

CV-87-321, CV-88-318

Lead State


Participating States



Connors Bros. Limited,

Case Description

State filed two suits challenging merger of sardine processors, alleging that the acquisition would lessen competition in the market for purchasing fresh herring suitable for processing and canning from independent fishermen in the Bay of Fundy area and the contract market for the purchase of fresh herring suitable for processing and canning in the Bay of Fundy area. The merging parties were the primary contract purchasers in this market. According to the complaint, the acquisition would violate 10 M.R.S.A. § 1102-A. Resolved by Consent Decree which provides that Connors shall invest a minimum of $12 million in capital improvements to upgrade and automate one or more of the Stinson facilities, or in construction of new replacement facilities in Maine during the next 12 years. Seven million dollars shall be so invested during the first three years. The annual production of canned herring at the Stinson facilities or the newly-constructed facilities shall not be less than 550,000 cases or sardine or canned herring finished product annually. Connors also agreed that it would conduct procurement through a subsidiary which was not bound by existing contracts requiring Connors to purchase as much fish as possible from Canadian fisherman. The Attorney General’s office shall review all contracts between Connors and independent fisherman. Finally, at the end of 12 years, Connors shall have upgraded its capacity to 1 million cases annually. Subsequent agreed-upon amendments reduce production quota and substitute Bumble Bee as Defendant.