Justice Department Concerned About Proposed Merger
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Justice Department expressed concern Monday about the proposed merger of the nation’s two largest armored-car companies, saying the combination would reduce competition.
The department’s views on the proposed purchase of Loomis Armored Inc. by Brink’s Inc., the nation’s largest armored car company, were expressed in a petition to the Interstate Commerce Commission, which must approve the deal.
The Justice Department’s antitrust division opposed a request by Brink’s, a subsidiary of the Pittston Co., for an exemption from ICC regulatory review of its proposed acquisition of Loomis, which is owned by Mayne Nickless Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia.
The Justice Department urged the ICC to conduct a full hearing on the antitrust implications of the proposed merger.
″There appears to be industrywide concern that the proposed merger may adversely affect competition,″ the department said in its complaint to the ICC.
″A significant number of customers have told us they would not be surprised to see prices rise as a result of the merger because alternatives to service from Brink’s or Loomis will either be unavailable or difficult to obtain,″ the department said.
In a statement, Assistant Attorney General James F. Rill said ″in some major cities, the merger will leave Brink’s as the sole or dominant provider of armored car services.″
The Brink’s purchase of Loomis, which is based in Piscataway, N.J., was announced in September. Terms were not disclosed.