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FTC objects to Sysco-US Foods merger

The Federal Trade Commission objected Thursday to the proposed merger of foodservice companies Sysco and U.S. Foods, saying the combination would probably raise prices paid by restaurants, hospitals and schools.

The proposed $3.5 billion merger was announced in December 2013.

“Consumers across the country, and the businesses that serve them, benefit from the healthy competition between Sysco and US Foods, whether they eat at a restaurant, hotel, or a hospital,” Debbie Feinstein, director of the FTC Bureau of Competition, said in a news release.

The commission voted 3-2 to challenge the merger. Ten states, including Illinois, and the District of Columbia joined in the objection.