General Electric Co. has abandoned a $3.3 billion agreement to sell its appliances business to Electrolux AB of Sweden, walking away from the deal amid a courtroom fight with U.S. antitrust regulators.
Wall Street Journal staffers Ted Mann and Jens Hansegard (from Stockholm) report on the reasons and the repercussions of the broken acquisition deal. GE, meanwhile, will continue to explore opportunity to sell its consumer appliance business, and Electrolux will seek acquisitions. Mann and Hansegard write:
The Justice Department sued Electrolux and GE in July, arguing the transaction would have left consumers with few competitive options for cooking appliances. It said the deal would have harmed home builders and others who buy appliances in bulk, as well as budget-minded consumers who needed lower-priced ranges.The merged Electrolux-GE business would have had about one-quarter of the U.S. market last year, compared with roughly 30% for Whirlpool, and 13% and 11%, respectively, for South Korean rivals LG Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., according to data from TraQline.