DOJ takes steps to preserve brick prices, quality in Southern and Midwestern states

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(NEXSTAR) – An acquisition between two of the largest suppliers of residential brick in the United States hit a snag Friday when the Department of Justice filed an ant-trust lawsuit attempting to “preserve competition for these products” in the Southern and Midwestern states.

According to the complaint, General Shale Brick, Inc. and Meridian Brick, LLC, are two of the top suppliers of residential brick in eight separate local markets in six states: Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The DOJ said the transaction would eliminate the substantial competition that currently exists in those markets.

“Residential brick is an essential building block in American home construction,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said. “As originally proposed, the transaction would have led to higher-priced and lower quality residential brick, making it more expensive for millions of Americans to build and purchase homes.”

The DOJ also filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would require the parties to divest several assets to RemSom LLC or an alternative company approved by the United States.

The public is being asked to submit any comments to Jay Owen, the acting chief of Defense, Industrials and Aerospace at the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.”

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