A planned merger of tuna companies Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee has been called off after the U.S. government signaled its opposition to the team. Originally, Thai Union Group, which controls the Chicken of the Sea and Van Camps brands, had agree to acquire Bumble Bee Foods from the British private equity firm Lion Capital LLP for $1.5 billion, reports USA Today.
The deal fell apart after the U.S. Justice Department raised concerns about the combined U.S. market share the companies would have in shelf-stable tuna following the deal.
“Consumers are better off without this deal,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer, a member of the department’s Antitrust Division, said in a statement. “Our investigation convinced us — and the parties knew or should have known from the get go – that the market is not functioning competitively today, and further consolidation would only make things worse.”
Both companies argued in favor of the deal but have mutually agreed to call off the transaction.
Source: USA Today