UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
Plaintiff, the United States, filed this action pursuant to Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18, to block the proposed acquisition of Broughton Foods Company ("Broughton") by Suiza Foods Corporation ("Suiza"). Section 7 provides, in relevant part, that:
No person engaged in commerce or in any activity affecting commerce shall acquire, directly or indirectly, the whole or any part of the stock . . . of another person engaged also in commerce or in any activity affecting commerce, where in any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce in any section of the country, the effect of such acquisition may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly.
15 U.S.C. §18.
Pursuant to section 15 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 25, in proceedings brought by the United States to prevent the Act's violation, "the court may at any time make such temporary restraining order or prohibition as shall be deemed just in the premises." The United States has moved this Court for entry of a Temporary Restraining Order to preserve the status quo until such time as the Court can address the United States' Motion for Preliminary Injunction. The defendants do not oppose this Motion. See Letter from Paul T. Denis, Counsel for Suiza, and Thomas J. Murray, Counsel for Broughton, to James K. Foster, Jr., March 17, 1999 (appended hereto as Attachment A). The parties are currently negotiating a schedule to propose to the Court for presentation of the United States' Motion for Preliminary Injunction in this matter.
Unless restrained by the Court, the defendants would be free to consummate
their transaction as early as March 20, 1999, under the terms of the timing
agreement defendants entered into with the United States preventing them from
consummating the transaction before then. If defendants were to proceed with the
proposed acquisition before a hearing on the merits could be held, the public
interest in vigorous competition in the production and sale of milk to schools in
Kentucky could be irreparably harmed. Plaintiff would have no adequate remedy
at law and this Court's ability to fashion effective relief would be significantly
impaired if the proposed acquisition proceeds but is found later to be unlawful.
E.g., Christian Schmidt Brewing Co. v. G. Heileman Brewing Co., 600 F.
1326, 1332 (E.D. Mich.), aff'd, 753 F.2d 1354 (6th Cir. 1985) ("If
injunctive relief is
not awarded and the merger is subsequently found to be unlawful, it would be
extremely difficult, if at all possible, to remedy effectively the unlawful merger.")
Granting the requested temporary restraining order would serve the public
interest. Accordingly, the United States requests that this Court issue a
temporary restraining order to enjoin Suiza and Broughton from consummating
their proposed acquisition, and thus preserve the status quo pending the Court's
consideration of the United States' requests for injunctive relief.
This will certify that a true and correct copy of the foregoing, together with a copy of any Order or Judgment the United States proposes in connection therewith, has been served by telecopier and by mail to:
Suiza Foods Corporation
Broughton Foods Company
On this the _18_ day of March, 1999.