6/25/11 – DOJ announces settlement of U.S. v. George’s, Inc.

On June 23, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement of its Clayton Act § 7 post-acquisition divestiture case filed in May 2011, challenging the $3 million acquisition of Tyson Foods’ Harrisonburg, VA chicken processing plant by Tyson competitor George’s, Inc.  The DOJ’s complaint alleged that the acquisition thwarted competition among processors for purchases from chicken growers in the Shenandoah Valley.  The proposed settlement does not require divestiture of the processing plant as requested in the DOJ’s complaint.  Instead, the settlement requires capital improvements by George’s to the Harrisonburg chicken processing plant.  The DOJ in its press release said these improvements will enhance George’s incentive and ability to increase local poultry production, leading to increased demand in the Shenandoah Valley for grower services.  This was the second agriculture-sector acquisition since January 2010 (the other being U.S. v. Dean Foods) where the DOJ sued to compel post-acquisition divestiture.


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