On February 20, 2009, JBS and National Beef announced the abandonment of the JBS/National Beef transaction. The Antitrust Division filed an antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Chicago to block the proposed acquisition, alleging that the deal would result in lower prices paid to cattle suppliers and higher beef prices for consumers. At that time, Attorneys General of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming joined the Department’s lawsuit. On Nov. 7, 2008, the states of Arizona, Connecticut, New Mexico and Mississippi joined the lawsuit as well.
The Antitrust Division alleged in its complaint to block the merger that had the acquisition gone forward, it would have combined two of the top four U.S. beef packers resulting in lower prices paid to cattle suppliers and higher beef prices for consumers. Instead of going to trial, the parties to the merger abandoned the transaction.