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Press Release

    CSE Foundation Files Amicus Brief in the Heinz/Beechnut Merger

    01/04/2001

    CSE Foundation recently filed a “friend of the court brief,” defending the proposed merger of Heinz and Beech-Nut. CSE Foundation has long held that the overzealous antitrust activism practiced by the Clinton Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been harmful to both consumers and the marketplace. The FTC’s latest attempt to block this merger is no different.

    “The members of CSE Foundation have repeatedly opposed attempts from overly active government bureaucrats to micromanage competition within the tobacco, airlines, and technology industries,” said Center for Consumer Choice Director Erick R. Gustafson. “Time and again the government presumes to know the ‘correct’ level of competition in a given market. Regrettably, the attempt by the FTC to block the merger between Heinz and Beech-Nut is another such instance. Now mothers and other buyers of jarred baby food may face higher prices or less selection as a result.”

    CSE Foundation’s brief, written by Judge Robert Bork, takes issue with two points the FTC cites in blocking the merger: first, the FTC did not account for any potential pro-competitive effects of the merger, and second, the FTC failed to account for the poor financial health of Beech-Nut, and did not even consider that the new merged company might not end up the as the dominant firm in the marketplace.

    Federal Trade Commission
    v.
    H.J. Heinz Company et al.,

    On Appeal from the United States District Court
    For the District of Columbia

    Brief of Amicus Curiae
    Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation
    In Support of Appellees

    (PDF format, 31 pp. 51 Kb)