Dean Foods eyes two bottling plants
and 85-90% of New York's milk money

April 1, 2004, The food industry is posed to get even smaller as Dean Foods is being rumored to be interested in purchasing two milk bottling plants currently held by the newly bankrupt Parmalat. The news has farmers, consumers and New York politicians calling monopoly.

Fears are growing that the sale of the two New York milk bottling plants owned by beleaguered Italian giant Parmalat could result in a milk monopoly that would be injurious to both farmers and consumers. Parmalat USA operates two plants in the area, one in the New York borough of Brooklyn and the other in Wallington, New Jersey. Following a corporate accounting scandal, Parmalat has filed for bankruptcy protection and is selling off many assets, including the majority of its US dairy activities.

Democrat Senator Charles Schumer is reported by AP to be warning that a sale of either or both plants to other major players, notably Dean Foods, could lead to a monopoly that would compromise farmer incomes and lead to higher retail prices. Should Dean be allowed to buy the plants, it would enjoy a monopoly of 85-90% of the downstate milk market, Schumer argued. He as asked antitrust authorities to keep a close eye on any proposed sale.

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