(Adds quotes from FTC officials, background on deal, share
WASHINGTON May 30 U.S. antitrust officials on
Friday gave the green light for the proposed merger of Men's
Wearhouse Inc and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc to
move ahead, citing ample competition in the market for men's
suits and tuxedo rentals.
The Federal Trade Commission wrote to the firms on Friday
saying an investigation into the merger had been closed, and FTC
officials said in a blog post that the tie-up was not likely to
Unlike certain other big retail mergers, the decision
"rested primarily on the competitive environment among
brick-and-mortar stores, not competition from online sales,"
said Deborah Feinstein, Alexis Gilman, and Melissa Davenport,
all of the FTC's Bureau of Competition.
"Buying a suit online does not seem obvious to most people,
and online suit vendors generally cannot offer tailoring
services," the trio noted.
Men's Wearhouse said in March it would acquire its rival for
about $1.8 billion, ending a five-month saga that started with
Jos. A. Bank offering to buy its larger menswear rival.
The companies, operating in a mature market, have bid and
counterbid for each other since October when Jos. A. Bank
offered to buy Men's Wearhouse for about $2.3 billion.
The merging firms have different customer bases, the FTC
officials said, from Men's Wearhouse's "younger, trendier
customer set" to Jos. A. Bank's older, more traditional buyers.
And in the tuxedo segment, the two firms compete with
numerous local and regional rental firms, the FTC officials
In afternoon trading Men's Wearhouse was up 4.2 percent at
$50.30 per share and Jos. A. Bank was up 1.3 percent at $64.96.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny and Diane Bartz; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama and Alden Bentley)