The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is digging into the proposed $4.8 billion hostile takeover bid of Vulcan Materials by Martin Marietta. According to reports, Vulcan received a civil investigative demand, and a request for additional information and documentary material from the DOJ.
The department reportedly wants to get a sense of the scope of Vulcan's operations in 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Specifically, the DOJ wants to know the amount of aggregates, asphalt concrete and ready mix concrete that is transported from Vulcan facilities in those states to locations ranging from 10 miles away to more than 200 miles away.
The DOJ investigation is consistent with the type of information requested when antitrust issues are typically examined, according to industry experts. If the newly combined company is deemed to create too much of a monopoly either as a whole or in certain markets, the government can order that some of its assets be divested, or sold off. That frees up competition from others in the industry.