The sale of Louisville-based GE Appliances to Stockholm, Sweden-based Electrolux Group has encountered a hurdle, according to a report from Reuters.

1024px-General_Electric_logo.svgThe U.S. Department of Justice today rejected an offer by Electrolux that could have settled a dispute over whether the acquisition of the Louisville-based company diminishes competition and harms consumers, Reuters said.

The DoJ had filed a civil suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., in July to stop the deal.

The acquisition “would combine two of the leading suppliers of major cooking appliances sold in the United States (and would lead to) less competition, higher prices and fewer options for millions of Americans,” the DoJ wrote, according to court documents.

If the deal were allowed to go through, the DoJ wrote, the number of major players in the cooking appliances market would be reduced to two, Electrolux and Whirlpool, which would control more than 90 percent of sales.

“The competition between Electrolux and General Electric is important,” the DoJ wrote.

GE had announced in September 2014 that it agreed to sell its appliances business to Electrolux for $3.3 billion.

GE Appliances’ 900-acre Louisville campus employs about 6,000 people, who make household products including dishwashers, refrigerators and hot water heaters. Through the end of next year, GE will have invested about $1 billion and hired 3,000 employees in its Louisville facilities since 2011.

A status conference in the case has been set for 10 a.m. Nov. 6 in Courtroom 25a of the courthouse on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. A trial is scheduled for Nov. 9.

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Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.