The Ministry of Justice lost the challenge to the merger of the sugar industry 2022-09-23

On Friday, a federal judge rejected the Justice Department’s antitrust challenge to its acquisition of United States Sugar Corp. of rival processor Imperial Sugar Co.

The ruling, handed down Friday by Maryellen Nareika of the U.S. District Court in Delaware, said the merger would not violate the antitrust provisions of the Clayton Act. The opinion was closed, but the parties to the lawsuit were given until next Thursday to submit a redacted version.

The department that could appeal the decision, claimed that the acquisition of Imperial from the agribusiness giant Louis Dreyfus Co. would allow US Sugar and American Sugar Refining to control the vast majority of sugar sales in the Southeast..

“We are disappointed by the court’s decision not to block this merger, which would combine the world’s largest sugarcane producer with one of its main competitors in the southeastern United States and increase reliance on foreign imports,” Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter said in a statement. statement

“Further consolidation in the market for this important kitchen product will have real consequences for millions of Americans. We are reviewing the opinion and will soon determine the next steps.”

The department’s challenge to the merger, filed in November 2021, was in line with the Biden administration’s push to limit corporate mergers and industry consolidation.

US Sugar, which operates a major sugar mill in Florida, sells its sugar through United Sugars Corp., a Minnesota-based cooperative owned by US Sugar, American Crystal Sugar Co., Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative and Wyoming Sugar Co. Louis Dreyfus. said the merger “will create synergies and efficiencies in manufacturing, logistics and supply chains that will benefit US consumers.” The Ministry of Justice lost the challenge to the merger of the sugar industry 2022-09-23

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