January 27, 2006
Maytag - Whirlpool
Posted by Christine Hurt

Maytag In my life, I have only owned two individual stocks, Pixar and Maytag.  I sold them both in the mid-90s, probably to do something silly like buy a house.  Coincidentally, both are currently engaged to be sold.  The WSJ blog today points to an FT article discussing the antitrust problems inherent in Whirlpool purchasing Maytag.  The issues relate to how the market is defined, whether locally or globally.  Also at issue are particular product lines for which the merger would dominate, such as "top-loading washers."  Although the DOJ has been fairly laissez-faire as to mergers in the recent past, the article suggests that a resulting merged company would have to divest some divisions, such as washers.  However, that condition would make the merger much less attractive to Whirlpool.

I am much more interested in the anti-competitive effects of the Disney-Pixar merger, even though our family is still rooting for Toy Story3.  Look for that discussion in a separate post.

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