Part 3 Administrative Complaints
On 2/19/15, the FTC filed an administrative complaint charging that the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition nationwide and in 32 local markets for broadline foodservice distribution services. The FTC alleged that if the merger goes forward as proposed, foodservice customers, including restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and schools, would likely face higher prices and lower levels of service than would be the case but for the merger. The FTC also authorized staff to seek in federal court a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prevent the parties from consummating the merger, and to maintain the status quo pending the administrative proceeding. The PI action was filed on 2/20/15. According to the FTC complaint, a combined Sysco/US Foods would account for 75% of the national market for broadline distribution services. In addition, the parties would also hold high shares in a number of local markets. The Commission also charged that the proposed sale of 11 US Foods distribution centers to Performance Food Group would neither enable PFG to replace US Foods as a competitor nor counteract the significant competitive harm caused by the merger. The following state attorneys general have joined the FTC’s complaint for a preliminary injunction to be filed in federal district court: California, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. Following a June 23, 2015 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granting the Federal Trade Commission request for a preliminary injunction, Sysco and US Foods abandoned their proposed merger, and the Commission dismissed its administrative complaint.