Justice Department will require DFA to sell off three plants before allowing Dean Foods acquisition

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will allow the nation’s biggest milk cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), to acquire 44 of the bankrupt dairy processor Dean Foods’s plants, but only if DFA divests from three of its own properties. This announcement comes after months of vocal opposition from farmers, retailers, and some antitrust experts, who have argued that a Dean-DFA merger would create a monopoly in the milk market. DFA has faced ongoing criticism from its member-owners that—because it has a separate arm for processing milk—the co-op has a vested interest in keeping prices low. DOJ’s logic is that forcing DFA to sell some facilities off before buying more will prevent it from dominating the market. Food Dive has the story.