Dollar Tree, Family Dollar Will Sell Off 330 Stores To Get Merger Approval

A year after the sordid dollar store love triangle began and nearly seven months after Family Dollar chose Dollar Tree to have and to hold for a mere $9.2 billion, the merger process appears to be almost over with federal regulators officially asking the new couple to ditch 330 stores.

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that discount retailers Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have agreed to sell 330 Family Dollar stores to settle charges that their proposed merger was likely anticompetitive.

Under the settlement, the stores on the chopping block will be sold to private equity firm Sycamore Partners within 150 days of the closing of the acquisition.

According to the FTC’s complaint [PDF], the original merger proposition was problematic because Dollar Tree and Family Dollar compete “head-to-head in terms of price, product assortment, and quality, as well as location and customer service in local markets nationwide.”

“Dollar stores offer convenience and value by providing a broad assortment of general merchandise at discounted prices in stores close to where consumers live or work,” said Debbie Feinstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “This settlement will ensure that consumers will continue to benefit from competition among their local dollar stores.”

Had the two companies not agreed to the settlement, the FTC says the acquisition would have eliminated direct competition between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. And increase the likelihood that “Dollar Tree will unilaterally exercise market power.”

Earmarking 330 stores for divestiture isn’t exactly a surprise. Back in April, it was reported that the FTC was considering putting 340 stores on the sales block.

FTC Requires Dollar Tree and Family Dollar to Divest 330 Stores as Condition of Merger [Federal Trade Commission]