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The Federal Trade Commission has approved a divestiture trustee’s request for a 90-day extension of the deadline for selling a former Penn Traffic supermarket in Bath, New York. Tops Markets is required to divest the Bath store following its acquisition of Penn Traffic last year.

Tops is required to divest a total of seven supermarkets in five geographic markets under an FTC order settling charges that its January 2010 acquisition of the bankrupt Penn Traffic Company supermarket chain was anticompetitive. In July 2011, the FTC approved Tops’ application to sell three of the supermarkets to Hometown Markets, LLC, and appointed a divestiture trustee to oversee the sale of the remaining four supermarkets for which Tops was unable to find a buyer. These four supermarkets are in Bath, Ithaca, and Lockport, New York; and Sayre, Pennsylvania. The initial 90-day period granted to the divestiture trustee to sell the remaining four stores expires on September 28, 2011. The FTC’s extension only applies to the supermarket in Bath. Because the trustee has been unable to find a potential buyer for the Ithaca, Lockport, and Sayre supermarkets, they will revert to Tops.

The Commission vote approving the 90-day extension was 5-0. (FTC File No. 101-0074, Docket No. C-4295; the staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see press release dated August 4, 2010.)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(FYI 38.2011.wpd)

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