Pennsylvania filed suit, alleging the proposed merger of two of the largest gasoline and distillate terminaling services in the state, ArcLight and Gulf Oil would violate both the Clayton Act and Pennsylvania state law by lessening competition in three markets, Altoona, Harrisburg and Scranton. The state sought injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees. The state and the parties entered into a settlement in which the defendants would agree to divest their terminal assets in Pennsylvania – located in Altoona, Pittston, Mechanicsburg and Williamsport – to New York-based Arc Logistics within 20 days of the acquisition being finalized. After the divestiture, ArcLight is further bound to assist Arc Logistics by providing transitional assistance at a reasonable cost for one year, serve as a customer of the divested terminals for two years and supply ethanol and biodiesel fuels and related terminaling services for five years. The settlement also allows any ArcLight petroleum terminal customer to sever its contract with the company without penalty or charge for six months after the divestiture date, and for ArcLight to provide them with notice of the right to do so. The FTC had previously entered into a settlement with the parties.
United States and Connecticut v. AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., No. 1:15-cv-02181 (D.D.C. Dec. 15, 2015)
U.S. and Connecticut filed complaint and proposed settlement with AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (AMC) and SMH Theaters, Inc. (Starplex Cinemas) to resolve concerns that AMC’s purchase of a Connecticut Starplex theater would substantially harm competition for Connecticut consumers. AMC is the second largest commercial movie exhibitor in the United States, with two theaters in Connecticut. Starplex Cinemas is an independent, privately held commercial movie exhibitor operating 33 theaters with 346 screens in 12 states, including two theaters in Connecticut. In their complaint, Connecticut and the DOJ allege that the Berlin market is concentrated and that AMC and Starplex Cinemas are the other’s most significant competitor, given their close proximity. The agreement with Connecticut and the DOJ requirew that the Berlin 12 theater in Berlin be sold as part of the acquisition, which will help to maintain a competitive market and the best-possible service for Connecticut consumers. The agreement also requires the divestiture of a theater in New Jersey.
USDOJ and Pennsylvania filed suit to challenge the acquistion by Sinclair Broadcase Group of Perpetual Corporation, alleging that it would lessen competition in the sale of broadcast televlsion spot advertising in the south central Pennsylvania area. The merged companies would control 38 percent of the advertising market in that area. the parties agreed to the divestiture of a station in the marketing area.
USDOJ and three states challenged the acquisition of Hilshire by Tyson. According to the complaint, Tyson and Hillshire compete against each other and against others to
procure sows from farmers in the United States. Tyson’s proposed acquisition of Hillshire would eliminate head-to head
competition between the companies and create a firm that would account for over a
third of all sows purchased from farmers in the United States. the merging parties agreed to divest all the assets of Heinold Hog Markets, including 8 buying stations, to a purchaser approved by USDOJ, after consultation with the states.
USDOJ and State of Texas challenged the acquisition of Texas Industries by Martin Marietta Materials on the grounds that the proposed merger would have likely resulted in increased prices for customers handling Texas Department of Transportation projects in parts of the Dallas metropolitan area. The
Texas Department of Transportation sets specifications for the type of aggregate approved for use in those projects. In Dallas County and parts of the surrounding area,
Martin Marietta and Texas Industries are two of the only three suppliers of Texas Department of Transportation-approved aggregate. Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, Martin Marietta must divest its North Troy aggregate quarry in Mill Creek, Oklahoma, its rail yard in Dallas, and its rail yard in Frisco, Texas. All of these assets
predominantly serve parts of the Dallas metropolitan area. Under the proposed settlement, USDOJ Antitrust Division, after consultation with Texas, must approve the buyer of the divested assets.
United States and Texas challenged $220 million acquisition by Cinemark of Rave Holdings. Cinemark is the third-biggest movie chain in the U.S., with 298 theaters in 39 states. Rave Holdings owns 35 theaters in 12 states and specializes in digital and 3-D presentations, According to the complaint, the proposed acquisition would reduce competition in the Voorhees-Somerdale area of New Jersey and the eastern section of Louisville, where Cinemark and Rave are each other’s chief competitors. Cinemark and Rave operate theaters in the western region of Fort Worth. In addition, if the acquisition were to go through as originally planned, the theaters would be less likely to improve or maintain the quality of their sound systems, screens, and food and drinks. Cinemark agreed to divest Movie Tavern Inc. — a Dallas company operating 16 theaters in Fort Worth and Denton, Texas — and three additional Texas theaters to settle the suit.
State challenged the acquisition by J. Sainsbury of Star Markets supermarkets in Massachusetts. Defendant was required to divest 9 supermarkets, keep operating two others until a competitor opens up, and provide notice of future acquisitions. Consent decree was later modified to require only 8 divestitures.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Rodriquez, No. 02-2778 (D.P.R.) and Estado Libre Asociado v. Wal-Mart Puerto Rico, Inc., No. 02-2847 (P.R. Ct. First Instance) (Feb. 28, 2003)
Puerto Rico challenged acquisition by Wal-Mart of supermarket chain in Puerto Rico. After the enforcement action was enjoined by the U.S. District Court, Puerto Rico appealed. Twenty states filed an amicus brief supporting Puerto Rico’s ability to challenge the transaction regardless of the actions of the FTC. While the appeal was pending, the parties entered into a settlement under which Wal-Mart would divest four supermarkets.
State challenged the acquisition by Lynden, which operates Alaska Marine Lines, of Northland. The companies are the only two competitors in the market for marine cargo delivery to Southeast Alaska. The parties reached a settlement under which Northland will operate as an independent company under Lynden. Sitka-based Samson Tug and Barge will lease space and equipment that previously belonged to Northland, effectively replacing Northland as Lynden’s competitor in Southeast Alaska. The Attorney General’s office will monitor shipping in Southeast to make sure the market remains competitive.
Vermont and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint against Verizon and Rural Cellular Corp., challenging the merger of the two companies’ cellular services. The state and DOJ settled, requiring that the merged company sell all overlapping assets in Vermont.