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Iowa AG joins challenge against US Foods, Sysco merger

By Mark Payne | Feb 20, 2015

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller | Iowa Attorney General's Office

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller joined in on the fight to stop US Foods and Sysco from merging on Thursday. 

Miller, along with several other state attorney generals and the Federal Trade Commission, filed a federal challenge to the proposed merger.

The challenge alleged that the merger of the national food distributors could potentially violate antitrust laws, as well as affect restaurants, hotels, hospitals and food service establishment, which could all face higher food prices. The complaint alleged that if the two large companies combined it would see reduced competition in 32 markets, including Omaha-Council Bluffs area.

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking a restraining order and an injunction to prevent the merger from happening until the matter has been investigated.

“We allege this merger would violate antitrust laws by significantly reducing food distribution competition across the country, and particularly in western Iowa,” Miller said.  “The result would be higher prices for Iowa consumers who eat away from home, and higher costs for Iowa restaurants, school districts, hospitals and hotels.”

The FTC also alleged that the sale of some US Foods distribution centers to Performance Food Group still would not allow Performance Food to serve as a competitor. 

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