Electrolux, GE end acquisition plans after four-week trial

By Carol Ostrow | Dec 8, 2015

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Electrolux and General Electric announced that they have abandoned a purchase plan which would have created a virtual monopoly under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, which filed suit against the firms July 1.

Confronting the imminent $3.3 billion deal, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filing argued that the combination of the two companies would have erased competition among other vendors.

If Electrolux had completed the purchase of the General Electric (GE) appliance business, two of the nation’s top appliance manufacturers potentially could have been out of compliance with antitrust law. Instead, they terminated the plan on their own after a trial run of just four weeks.

“In the courtroom, facts matter,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General David I. Gelfand. “Rhetoric does not. This deal was bad for the millions of consumers who buy cooking appliances every year. Electrolux and General Electric could not overcome that reality at trial.”

Electrolux markets Frigidaire and Tappan brand products as well as its own name, with annual U.S. sales of approximately $2.6 billion. GE sells various iterations of its own brand name along with Hotpoint, with annual major appliance sales of approximately $3.4 billion yearly.

“The American public has been very well-served by the outstanding work of the trial team in this case, led by Ethan Glass,” said Gelfand. “The abandonment of the transaction is a testament to their tremendous dedication and the thoroughness with which they presented the evidence to the court.”

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