Diane's Feed
Feb 19, 2015

U.S. government sues to block Sysco-US Foods merger

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to block a merger of the nation’s two largest food distributors, US Foods Inc [USFOO.UL] and Sysco Corp (SYY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which said it will fight the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) action.

Sysco and US Foods unveiled their $3.5 billion deal in December 2013. It was controversial because they are only two companies in their industry able to offer truly nationwide contracts to deliver food and other supplies to customers like hotel chains, hospitals and fast food restaurants.

Feb 19, 2015

FTC sues to block Sysco-US Foods merger

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday it has filed a lawsuit seeking to block a merger of Sysco Corp (SYY.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and US Foods Inc [USFOO.UL].

Sysco and US Foods, the largest U.S. food distributors and the only ones with national reach, announced the $3.5 billion deal in December 2013. US Foods is owned by private equity companies including KKR & Co. (KKR.N: Quote, Profile, Research)

Feb 18, 2015

Sysco hires lawyers for possible merger fight with regulator

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Food distributing company Sysco Corp (SYY.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has hired top Washington litigators to defend itself if U.S. regulators file a lawsuit to stop its merger with rival US Foods USFOO.UL, two sources close to the deal said on Wednesday.

The deal, announced in December 2013, is controversial because Sysco and US Foods are the two largest companies in their industry. Other distributors cannot match them on offering nationwide contracts for a wide range of goods for customers ranging from hotel chains and hospitals to fast food chains and fine restaurants.

Feb 18, 2015

InterDigital loses another round in patent fight

WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – InterDigital Inc, a
patent licensing firm, lost an infringement fight on Wednesday
as a U.S. appeals court ruled that wireless phones made by
Nokia, since purchased by Microsoft, and ZTE Corp
do not infringe on InterDigital patents.

InterDigital’s share price was down 3.4 percent for the
day, at $49.14.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a
decision by the International Trade Commission, which found the
patents were not infringed.

Feb 17, 2015

Comcast fight with upstart Spanish station is grist for merger foes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fight between an upstart Spanish
language TV network and Comcast Corp has provided more
ammunition for critics who fear Comcast would gain too much
market power if its buyout of Time Warner Cable Inc goes
ahead, antitrust attorneys said.

Formed by the son of a Mexican immigrant in 2009, Estrella
TV currently is distributed by Comcast in 16 markets on an
unreimbursed, “must carry” basis under a contract that ends
Thursday in Houston, Denver and Salt Lake City. The channel
competes for viewers with Comcast’s Telemundo.

Feb 12, 2015

Online travel agency Expedia to buy rival Orbitz for $1.33 billion

By Jeffrey Dastin and Diane Bartz

(Reuters) – Online travel company Expedia Inc said on Thursday that it would buy Orbitz Worldwide Inc for about $1.33 billion in cash to bring on the rival’s programmers and widen its customer base.

While Expedia and larger rival Priceline Group, have embarked on acquisitions sprees to dominate the online travel business, three antitrust experts say the Orbitz deal is likely to get U.S. regulatory approval.

Feb 10, 2015

Patent licenser Helferich wins court round against New York Times, others

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – The New York Times Co
, J.C. Penney Corp and CBS Corp lost a round
Tuesday in a patent fight with Helferich Patent Licensing, LLC,
which had accused them of infringing on patents for looking at
websites on mobile telephones.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned
a lower court decision which had said that because the mobile
phone makers had licensed the patents there was no need for
content providers to do so.

Feb 5, 2015

U.S. House takes up bill aimed at fighting ‘patent trolls’

WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Key Republicans in the U.S.
House of Representatives joined with a smattering of Democrats
to introduce a bill on Thursday aimed at reducing frivolous
patent litigation.

The bill is identical to a measure that passed the House
overwhelmingly in December 2013 but stalled in the Senate
because of objections from Senator Harry Reid, who set the
chamber’s agenda. With the Senate now in Republican hands, the
bill’s chance of becoming law has improved.

Feb 4, 2015

Staples, Office Depot expect second time a charm in merger

By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Diane Bartz

(Reuters) – Staples Inc (SPLS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Office Depot (ODP.O: Quote, Profile, Research) should find the second time is a charm as the top two U.S. office supply chains once again test the views of antitrust regulators in the rapidly changing retail landscape, experts said on Wednesday.

Staples, the No. 1 U.S. office supplies retailer, and No. 2 Office Depot Inc announced on Wednesday a $6.3 billion plan to join forces to compete against big box stores and online rivals.

Feb 2, 2015

Sysco would sell 11 US Foods centers to win deal approval

Feb 2 (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp said
it would sell 11 distribution centers run by takeover target US
Foods Inc to far smaller rival Performance Food Group
if skeptical antitrust regulators approve the merger with US
Foods.

Sysco’s $3.5 billion offer for US Foods has been pending
approval from the Federal Trade Commission for over a year but
is viewed as problematic given the dominance of both companies
as suppliers to hospitals, hotel chains and restaurants.