Department of Justice

DOJ Pressure Causes 3M to Abandon Acquisition

Claims antitrust suit threatened in move to buy competitor

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Office products giant 3M Co. has abandoned its plan to acquire its closest competitor in the sale of adhesive-backed labels and sticky notes, the Justice Department said Tuesday, attributing the move to a threatened civil antitrust lawsuit by the agency.

The department said that 3M's proposed acquisition of Avery Dennison Corp.'s Office and Consumer Products Group, which includes Avery's label business, would have substantially lessened competition in the sale of labels and sticky notes, resulting in higher prices and reduced innovation. 3M and Avery agreed last December that 3M would acquire Avery Dennison's office products group for $550 million.