On November 13, 2007, the Department of Justice announced that it reached a settlement that will require Vulcan Materials Company and Florida Rock Industries Inc. to divest eight quarries that produce coarse aggregate in Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia and one distribution yard in Virginia in order to proceed with their proposed $4.6 billion merger. The Department claimed that the original proposed acquisition likely would result in higher prices for purchasers of coarse aggregate in certain areas.
The Department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the Department filed a proposed consent decree that, if approved by the court, would resolve the lawsuit and the Department’s competitive concerns.
Coarse aggregate, a type of construction aggregates, is crushed stone produced at quarries or mines. It is used in a variety of applications, such as road construction, and for the production of ready mix concrete and asphalt.
Under the terms of the consent decree, Vulcan and Florida Rock must divest four operating aggregate quarries and one quarry under development in the metropolitan Atlanta area; one quarry in Columbus, Ga.; one quarry in Chattanooga, Tenn.; and one quarry in Richmond, Va., along with a related distribution yard in Chesapeake, Va. used by the Richmond quarry to serve the South Hampton Roads area. Under the consent decree, the Department’s Antitrust Division must approve the buyer of each of the divested assets.