The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on an application by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. for approval to divest Ameristar Casinos, Inc.’s casino and hotel project under construction in Lake Charles, Louisiana to GNLC Holdings, Inc. In a proposed order, the FTC requires Pinnacle to divest these assets to a Commission-approved buyer to resolve charges that its acquisition of Ameristar would reduce competition among casinos in Lake Charles, in violation of the antitrust laws. Pinnacle also is required by the order to divest a casino and two hotels in St. Louis, Missouri.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Pinnacle’s acquisition of Ameristar would result in increased prices and lower quality for casino customers in the St. Louis and Lake Charles areas. Pinnacle currently operates a casino in Lake Charles, where Ameristar is building a casino on an adjacent property, scheduled to open in 2014. In its application, Pinnacle requests FTC approval to sell all of the assets associated with Ameristar’s development and construction of its casino in Lake Charles to GNLC Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Landry’s Inc., which owns the Golden Nugget casinos in addition to approximately 450 restaurants. Pinnacle has not yet submitted an application to the FTC regarding the required divesture of the St. Louis casino assets.
The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of the public comment period. Public comments may be submitted until October 10, 2013. Written comments should be sent to: FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments also can be submitted electronically. Copies of the application also can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 131-0064, Docket No. 9355; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see related press release dated August 12, 2013)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
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