There’s no such thing as a done deal. That’s the message from federal antitrust enforcers, who in recent months have ramped up attacks against consummated mergers, aggressively breaking up already combined companies.
In the past two weeks alone, the Federal Trade Commission announced two consent orders requiring companies to sell off assets from past mergers deemed anti-competitive. Court cases are pending as well. The FTC in May filed suit against The Dun & Bradstreet Corp., targeting its purchase of a competing education data provider 15 months after the fact, while the U.S. Department of Justice has challenged Dean Foods Co.’s acquisition of Foremost Farms last year. “If evidence of an anti-competitive effect emerges, we’ll take a look at that,” said Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “Our track record makes that clear.”
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