The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
U.S. grocer Kroger carts away Albertsons for $25 billion but faces antitrust test. Kroger Co snapped up Albertsons Cos Inc in a $25 billion deal on Friday, creating a U.S. grocery behemoth to better compete with leader Walmart Inc on prices while bracing for potential antitrust roadblocks. The mega merger between the No. 1 and 2 standalone grocers in the United States will bring under one roof nearly 5,000 stores that include banners such as Albertsons’ Safeway and Kroger-owned Ralphs and Fred Meyer.
Biden Vows ‘Consequences’ for Saudi Arabia After Oil Production Cut. President Biden vowed to impose “consequences” on Saudi Arabia for teaming up with Russia to cut oil production, signaling a rupture in the relationship between two longtime allies and a reversal of his own effort to cultivate the energy-rich kingdom. Amid deep anger over last week’s decision by the Saudi-led OPEC Plus, Mr. Biden’s staff announced that he would re-evaluate the entire relationship with Saudi Arabia and expressed openness to retaliatory measures offered by congressional Democrats such as curbing arms sales or permitting price-fixing lawsuits against the cartel.
Assa Abloy confirms sales process for units to resolve U.S. antitrust issues. Assa Abloy AB on Friday said it was working to sell its Emtek and smart residential business in the United States to resolve U.S. antitrust issues that are holding up a planned acquisition. The U.S. Justice Department last month filed a lawsuit to challenge a planned $4.3 billion deal where Assa Abloy would acquire the Hardware and Home Improvement division from Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. The U.S. Justice Department last month filed a lawsuit to challenge a planned $4.3 billion deal where Assa Abloy would acquire the Hardware and Home Improvement division from Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. Reuters reported this month that Assa Abloy was moving ahead with a strategic process to sell the units so that it could resolve the regulatory issues and complete the acquisition, three sources familiar with the matter said. The news of the planned sales was confirmed in Assa Abloy’s formal response to the Justice Department’s complaint.
U.S. judge declines to halt Booz Allen’s purchase of EverWatch. A federal judge in Maryland ruled against the government’s effort to stop Booz Allen Hamilton’s planned purchase of EverWatch Corp over competition concerns, according to a court filing. The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop the transaction in June. The Justice Department had asked for a preliminary injunction to stop the deal, which Judge Catherine Blake refused to give. Her full opinion is under seal, according to the docket at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Edited by Gary J. Malone