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US: Dean Foods defeated in milk antitrust case

 |  January 5, 2014

A federal appeals court sided against Dean Foods Friday in a case alleging Dean conspired to hamper bottled milk competition in the southeast US, overturning a lower court’s previous decision.

The US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s ruling, which said that a class of milk retailers failed to establish proof of injuries related to the alleged anticompetitive behavior. The appeals court has remanded the case to district court.

Reports say the class action lawsuit was launched following the 2001 merger between Suiza Foods Corp and Dean Foods, a deal that combined the nation’s two largest milk processors. At the time, the DOJ ordered the merged entity to divest assets, which later combined into a new competitor, National Dairy Holdings.

The class action claimed that Dean Foods and the new competitor conspired in non-compete agreements throughout the southeast region of the nation.

A US district judge dismissed all five counts of the class’s complaint; the class subsequently appealed on of those dismissals.

Full Content: Reuters

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