Dean Foods To Fight Anti-Trust Lawsuit

US - Food and beverage giant Dean Foods has pledged to fight the anti-trust lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice challenging its April 2009 acquisition of dairy processing plants from Foremost Farms.
calendar icon 26 January 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

The Department of Justice said that the merger eliminates substantial competition between the two companies in the sale of milk to schools, grocery stores, convenience stores and other retailers in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The lawsuit is seeking to require Dean Foods to sell the dairy processing plants.

"The purpose of the department’s lawsuit is to restore competition so that schools, grocery stores and other retailers in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, will pay lower prices for their milk," said Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

The department’s lawsuit not only seeks to undo the 2009 deal but also requires Dean Foods to notify the department at least 30 days prior to any future acquisition involving a milk processing operation.

Despite the Department of Justice claiming that the acquisition eliminated an aggressive competitor against Dean Foods, the company believes its acquisition of the DePere and Waukesha, Wisconsin fluid milk processing plants from Foremost is fully compliant with antitrust laws, and will defend itself vigorously against the complaint.

The company believes that, from the time of the acquisition almost a year ago, this transaction has benefitted Wisconsin dairy farmers by providing a stable and growing outlet for their milk. In addition, the transaction already has produced important cost savings that will benefit customers and spur competition in and around Wisconsin. It promises to deliver even greater customer benefits once the DePere and Waukesha plants are fully integrated into the Dean network.

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