GE, Electrolux Call Off Appliances Buyout

     (CN) – General Electric and Electrolux decided not to go through with Electrolux’s planned purchase of GE’s appliance division after a four-week trial stemming from a government lawsuit.
     The U.S. Justice Department sued Electrolux in July to block its $3.3 billion acquisition of General Electric Company’s appliance business, claiming the deal would restrict competition in the oven market.
     The trial began Nov. 9 in D.C. District Court, and the deal’s abandonment was announced Monday.
     GE said in a statement issued Monday that it is entitled to a $175 million break-up fee from Electrolux, and it will continue to look to sell its appliances division.
     “The appliances business is performing well and GE will continue to run the business while it pursues a sale,” the statement says.
     The Sweden-based Electrolux makes about $2.6 billion per year selling appliances in the U.S., while GE does about $3.4 billion in domestic appliance sales annually, according to a government press release.
     David Gelfand, deputy assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said “facts matter” and “rhetoric does not.”
     “This deal was bad for the millions of consumers who buy cooking appliances every year. Electrolux and General Electric could not overcome that reality at trial,” Gelfand said in a statement.

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