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Fearing cooking oil monopoly, FTC torches Smucker/Wesson deal 

Joe Mont | March 7, 2018

Under pressure from the Federal Trade Commission, J.M. Smucker Co. has decided to drop its proposed acquisition of Wesson cooking oil from Conagra Brands.

Earlier in the week, the FTC voted 2-0 to file an administrative complaint and authorize staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal court to stop the proposed $285 million acquisition. The Commission charged that the proposed merger would likely reduce competition in the U.S. market for branded canola and vegetable oils sold to grocery stores and other retailers.

The FTC issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.

The J. M. Smucker/Conagra agreement was previously announced on May 30, 2017.

“While we disagree with the FTC's conclusion, we have mutually determined with Conagra that it is not in the best interest of...

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