Sticker shock key to antitrust approval for Sysco, US Foods deal

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The antitrust battle overwhether food giant Sysco Corp will be allowed to buy rival US Foods Inc will likely focus on whether the merger will drive up costs for thousands of restaurants, hospitals and hotels that they supply on nationwide contracts.

The Federal Trade Commission will examine Sysco’s $3.5 billion deal to buy debt-ridden US Foods from private equity, which was announced in December and would combine the only two food suppliers with a nationwide reach.

While the review is in early stages, the mega-merger has already rattled customers who rely on the companies for everything from pre-scrambled eggs for school meals to truffle
mousse desserts for high-end restaurants.

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