Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said Tuesday a federal judge blocked a merger between the nation's two largest foodservice distributors after the merger was challenged in court. | Maryland Attorney General

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Legal Newsline) - A federal judge has blocked the merger of the nation's two largest foodservice distributors and a challenge to the merger was successful, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said this week.

Frosh said his office's Antitrust Division joined with the Federal Trade Commission and nine other states in an attempt to stop the merging of Sysco Corp and USF Holding Corp. U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta issued a temporary injunction against the merger, and the FTC will undergo a full administrative review of the proposed transaction before it can continue.

"This is terrific news for anyone who eats. And that means all Marylanders," Frosh said. "This proposed merger would reduce competition and lead to higher prices for Marylanders who dine out, as well as for food service providers."

The two distributors compete with each other to sell food to hotels, hospitals, restaurants, schools and other facilities throughout the country. If the two were to merge the combined company would control about 75 percent of the market nationally and about 80 percent of the market in Annapolis and the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Frosh said.

The nine states that joined in fighting against the merger included California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia, along with Washington D.C.

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