Yesterday General Electric suspended proceedings on a $3.3 billion agreement to sell its appliance business to Swedish firm Electrolux, following months of push back from US antitrust regulators. The deal would have seen Electrolux become the world’s biggest appliance maker over Whirlpool.
GE have now said that they will pursue other options in the sale of the appliance business.
Electrolux’s shares have fallen dramatically (13.4%) since the news broke, having been expected to double had the deal successfully gone through. Issues with the deal began in July following a US Justice Department lawsuit to try to stop the deal, arguing that it would push appliance prices up by 5%. Electrolux, GE, and Whirlpool combined make up more than 90% of major kitchen appliance sold to homebuilders, which was noted in the lawsuit. Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Gelfand asserted that the deal would be bad for consumers.
In a year that has been full of big deals, some deals have also been aggressively pushed back by US antitrust authorities. Other deals killed in this manner include: Comcast’s bid to buy TimeWarner Cable and Sysco’s bid to buy US Foods.