Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Antitrust News: Big Cans

At CAC, we keep our eyes peeled for bizarre market definitions by government antitrust enforcers. This latest one takes the cake. Apparently, there was a budding conspiracy by big frozen juice concentrate can equipment barons that has been thwarted by the Department of Justice. From the DOJ’s press release:

The nation's two largest frozen-juice can manufacturers — Sonoco Products Company and Pasco Beverages Company — agreed to abandon their proposed can-making equipment deal after the Department of Justice expressed concerns that the deal could have been anticompetitive, the Department announced today. The Department's Antitrust Division said that Pasco's proposed sale would have given Sonoco control of virtually all of the equipment used to make the spiral-wound composite cans used to package frozen juice concentrate in the United States.

At the same time, the Department said that it has closed its investigation of the proposed transaction. The Department said that the parties' decision to abandon the proposed acquisition eliminated its competitive concerns.

R. Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division said, "The decision of Sonoco and Pasco to abandon the equipment sale will preserve competition for packaging for this important consumer product."
Very important indeed. Small children can sleep easy now that the threat of big frozen juice concentrate can equipment has been checked.

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