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    Justice Dept Blocks $3.3Bln General Electric-Electrolux Acquisition Deal

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    An acquisition deal between Electrolux North America and General Electric’s appliance business has been halted.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — An acquisition deal between Electrolux North America and General Electric’s appliance business has been halted because it would harm competing businesses, the US Department of Justice said in a release on Wednesday.

    “The [Justice] Department said that the $3.3 billion acquisition would combine two of the leading manufacturers of ranges, cooktops and wall ovens sold in the United States, eliminating competition that has benefited American consumers through lower prices and more options,” the Justice Department said.

    In September 2014, Electrolux agreed to acquire General Electric’s appliances business for $3.3 billion, which would have placed the business in direct competition with Whirlpool Company.

    The Justice Department has the ability to break up acquisitions or mergers that would upset the economic balance of competing businesses. Doing so prevents one company from monopolizing an industry and ensures a more equal economic playground.

    The proposed acquisition of General Electric’s appliances business would leave millions of Americans vulnerable to price increases, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Leslie Overton said.

    Overton explained the lawsuit to stop the acquisition aims to prevent a duopoly in the sale of major cooking appliances to builders and other commercial purchasers.

    Consumers spent more than $4 billion on these major cooking appliances in 2014, according to the Justice Department.

    Electrolux North America is an Ohio corporation based in Charlotte, North Carolina that produces and sells major appliances with such brand names as Frigidaire and Tappan.

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    deal, US Justice Department, General Electric, Electrolux, United States
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