Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law

Competition: Spring 2017, Vol 26, No. 1

UNITED STATES VAB ELECTROLUXAND GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY: A PANEL DISCUSSION WITH TRIAL COUNSEL

Moderated by Peter Huston1

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Each year the Federal Trade Commission and Antitrust Division of the DOJ are notified of hundreds of proposed mergers and acquisitions. They only investigate a small fraction of those. An even smaller fraction get a full "second request." A smaller fraction still are challenged with complaints seeking to enjoin the deals. And only some of those actually go to trial. In short, merger trials are rare.

One of those rare merger trials took place in late 2015 when the DOJ sued to stop the $3.3 billion sale of General Electric’s appliance business to Electrolux, a Swedish company. GE sold appliances under its own name with various subbrands, including GE Monogram, GE Profile, and GE Cafe. They also sold under the Hotpoint label. Electrolux sells under its own name but also sells under the more well-known Frigidaire brand and under the Tappan brand. They also manufactured the products for Sears to sell under the Kenmore brand.

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