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Justice Department looks to block GE deal

US-DOJUSA: The US Department of Justice has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit seeking to block the acquisition of General Electric’s appliance business by AB Electrolux and Electrolux North America Inc.

The Department of Justice said that the $3.3bn acquisition, which was announced last September,  would combine two of the leading manufacturers of ranges, cooktops and wall ovens sold in the United States, eliminating competition that has benefited American consumers through lower prices and more options. 

“Electrolux’s proposed acquisition of General Electric’s appliance business would leave millions of Americans vulnerable to price increases for ranges, cooktops and wall ovens, products that serve an important role in family life and represent large purchases for many households,” said deputy assistant attorney general Leslie C Overton of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “This lawsuit also seeks to prevent a duopoly in the sale of these major cooking appliances to builders and other commercial purchasers, who often pass on price increases to home buyers or renters.”   

The Antitrust Division’s lawsuit, which seeks to prevent the companies from merging and to preserve their existing head-to-head competition, was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

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