Sysco Antitrust Hearing is Extended, Will US Foods End the Merger?
WASHINGTON D.C. - The Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit to block Sysco and US Foods’ attempted merger has been extended.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s Brent Kendall, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta has added an extra day to the hearing that was supposed to have ended yesterday, with closing arguments not to be heard until the end of the month.
To read Brent Kendall's full article, click here.
So will US Foods continue to uphold its intended agreement with Sysco? Judge Mehta is reportedly considering a preliminary block on sealing the merger, Kendall reported, which US Foods has stated it will not stick around for.
As we previously reported, US Foods Executive Vice President David Schreibman said that the company would not proceed if the legal delays continued, reportedly stating in federal court that it would “terminate if this court enjoins the transaction." The company, however, has not reportedly made any further comments in regards to today's delay.
The judge has heard both sides consecutively, beginning with the FTC presenting its case that the merger would eliminate competition in the food distribution market last week. This week’s proceedings have been dedicated to Sysco and US Foods’ side, who argue that it would actually cut prices for consumers and increase competition. Yesterday, according to the Wall Street Journal report, the defense brought market analysts to argue that the FTC’s evaluation of the foodservice market is flawed, to which the FTC will offer a rebuttal today.
Judge Mehta has tentatively scheduled closing arguments to be made on May 28th to hear both US Foods and Sysco's final defense.
The FTC announced that it plans to hold a longer in-house trial on the merger in July, Kendall reported. Whether or not that will be necessary, however, remains to be seen.