US Justice Department sues to block sale of GE's appliance business to Electrolux

IndustriesAssociated Press

The U.S. government is suing to stop Electrolux from buying General Electric's appliance division, saying the combined company would dominate sales of kitchen appliances to customers like home builders, property managers, hotels, and governments.

General Electric Co. says it will defend the sale in court and aims to complete the $3.3 billion deal this year.

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The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the sale. It says GE and Electrolux, the owner of the Frigidaire brand, have been competing for decades to sell appliances like ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens.

The agency says Electrolux would eliminate a major competitor if it buys the GE division, and Electrolux and Whirlpool would be the only major companies selling appliances to many customers.