FTC kills deal to merge alcohol distributors

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Monday it had pushed two wine and spirits distributors to scrap their merger because of “significant concerns” about the deal.

Republican National Distribution Co, which distributes in a big swath of the eastern and central United States, and Breakthru Beverage Group, which is in 12 U.S. states and Canada, said last week that they had terminated their planned business combination.

Both distribute wine and spirits while Breakthru also distributes beer.

“(FTC) staff gathered extensive testimonial, documentary, and economic evidence to support our concerns that this transaction likely would have resulted in higher prices and diminished service in the distribution of wine and spirits in several states,” said Ian Conner, deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition in a statement. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Sandra Maler)