The Department of Justice had a say in this proposed acquisition.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

March 29, 2024

1 Min Read
Dole and Fresh Express nix acquisition
Dole plans on moving forward with an alternate plan.Image courtesy of monticello / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Dole plc and Fresh Express Inc. have made the decision to terminate the previously announced agreement under which Fresh Express would have acquired Dole’s Fresh Vegetables Division.

This termination is the result of the US Department of Justice’s decision that it will pursue litigation to prevent the transaction. The department voiced concerns about competition in the packaged salad market.

The Justice Department issued the following statement from Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Antitrust Division:

“At a time when food companies are already overcharging Americans for groceries, today’s abandonment preserves lower prices and availability for an essential kitchen staple. This merger would have reduced the number of competitors from three to two and raised grocery prices for food products that are purchased by 85% of American households. I am grateful for the tireless efforts of the Antitrust Division’s lawyers, economists, paralegals and professional staff who made this result possible.”

Packaged salad represents $3.2 billion in spending by grocers and their customers each year.

While Dole strongly disagrees with the Department of Justice’s decision and continues to believe that the transaction was pro-competitive and would have unlocked ongoing benefits to customers and consumers, the company says it remains confident in an alternative path forward in the near term that is in the best interests of the company and the division.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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