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 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 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.
DOJ and Kentucky alleged that the acquisition by Dairy Farmers of American (DFA) of Southern Belle Dairy would substantially lessen competition for the sale of milk sold to schools in one hundred school districts in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. The District Court granted summary judgment to DFA and Southern Belle. The government appealed, and the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment as to DFA and remanded the case for trial. The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of Southern Belle, leaving DFA as the only defendant. The parties then reached a settlement requiring DFA to divest its interest in Southern Belle and use its best efforts to require its partner, the Allen Family Limited Partnership (“AFLP”), to also divest its interest in Southern Belle. to Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.
The FTC and the Attorney General of Idaho filed suit to prevent the acquisition by St. Luke’s Health System of Idaho’s largest independent, multi-specialty physician practice group, Saltzer Medical Group. According to the joint complaint , the combination of St. Luke’s and Saltzer would give it the market power to demand higher rates for health care services provided by primary care physicians (PCPs) in Nampa, Idaho and surrounding areas, ultimately leading to higher costs for health care consumers. According to the joint complaint, St. Luke’s acquisition of Saltzer was anticompetitive and violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 48-106 of the Idaho Competition Act. It created a single dominant provider of adult primary care physician (adult PCP) services in Nampa, with the combined entity commanding nearly a 60 percent share of that market. In addition, an alternative network of health care providers that does not include St. Luke’s/Saltzer’s primary care physicians becomes far less attractive for employers with employees living in Nampa. The FTC and Idaho Attorney General allege that the newly combined primary care practices will give St. Luke’s greater bargaining leverage with health care plans, with higher prices for services eventually passed on to local employers and their employees. The parties consummated their transaction several months earlier, and a private antitrust complaint was filed by several competitors. Idaho and the FTC consolidated their suits for trial. The court held that the transaction was anticompetitive and that the acquisition should be unwound. The decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit