Merger Between Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea Will Not Continue

Chicken of the Sea

Merger Between Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea Will Not Continue

The deal would have given Thai Union the majority share of canned tuna sales in the United States, currently held by StarKist

A planned merger between Thai Union Group, the world’s largest provider of canned tuna and the owner of Chicken of the Sea, and Bumble Bee Foods has been canceled after federal regulators said that the deal would inhibit competition within the seafood market.

The merger would have combined the second and third largest sellers of canned tuna in the United States after StarKist, and combined the top two largest domestic sellers of other canned seafood, according to the Department of Justice. The acquisition was part of Thai Union Group’s goal to reach a revenue of $8 billion by 2020.

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“Consumers are better off without this deal,” Bill Baer, assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s antitrust division, said in a statement. “Our investigation convinced us — and the parties knew or should have known from the get go — that the market is not functioning competitively today, and further consolidation would only make things worse.”