NEW YORK--State Attorney General G. Oliver Koppell, who challenged the Federated/Macy merger because of antitrust concerns, is seeking to derail another department store takeover on similar grounds.
Koppell has filed suit against May Department Stores Co. and McCurdy & Co. Inc., to prevent May Co. from acquiring eight of the 12 stores formerly operated by McCurdy's in the Rochester, N.Y. area.
As reported, McCurdy's has gone out of business and will close the four stores not purchased by May Co.
A May Co. spokesman observed that the case is in litigation and the company is "vigorously defending itself."
May Co. operates four Kaufmann units in the area and has plans to convert three of the eight McCurdy's into Kaufmann's and to sell off the other five.
In the suit, filed in federal court in Rochester, Koppell charges that the takeover would "cause irreparable injury to the economy and citizens of the State of New York."
He said May Co.'s "primary motivation" for attempting to purchase McCurdy's was "to gain a monopoly in the department store market in Rochester by acquiring an existing competitor and keeping a new department store competitor from entering the market."
Before the agreement to acquire McCurdy's, Koppell said, May Co. controlled a 28.2 percent share of the department store market in Rochester. If the deal were approved, he said, May Co.'s market share would increase to 48.4 percent.
In the Federated case, an agreement was reached avoiding a lawsuit threatened by Koppell. Federated agreed to sell within two years the following stores: Abraham & Straus on 33rd Street, Manhattan; A&S in Sunrise Mall, Massapequa; Macy's in White Plains, N.Y.; Bloomingdale's in Garden City, and two Stern's units, in Flushing and Lake Grove.

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