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DOJ Urges Third Circuit To Block US Sugar-Imperial Deal

 |  November 3, 2022

The Justice Department urged the Third Circuit to block US Sugar‘s $315 million planned acquisition of rival Imperial Sugar, arguing that a lower court erred in approving the deal that would drive up prices, reported Bloomberg Law.

The DOJ antitrust division’s brief, filed Tuesday, laid out its legal reasoning to accompany its appeal at the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Judge Maryellen Norieka of the US District of Delaware last month allowed the deal to proceed. But she erred in finding flaws in the government’s definitions of the market for sugar, the DOJ said in the brief.

Read more: Third Circuit Sets Aside Sabre-Farelogix Ruling

The DOJ sued to stop the transaction in November 2021, eight months after the deal was announced. U.S. Sugar grows and refines sugar in Florida and sells its sugar through United Sugars, a sugar-selling cooperative. Imperial is a sugar refiner that operates in Georgia and is owned by Louis Dreyfus. 
The government alleged that the transaction would be likely substantially to lessen competition in a market for “the production and sale of refined sugar to wholesale customers” in the “East South Central and South Atlantic United States” (or, alternatively, “the narrower region of Georgia and its bordering states”).