Chicken Of The Sea, Bumble Bee Abandon Plan To Unite As One Giant Can Of Tuna After DOJ Objects

Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee will be leaving their underwater wedding separately despite going steady since 2014: the two tuna companies won’t be merging into one giant can of fish after the U.S. Justice Department put the kibosh on their planned union.

The DOJ announced on Friday that the merger — proposed a year ago between Thai Union Group, owner of Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee — is kaput, saying it would’ve hurt competition in the U.S. canned tuna market.

If the two tuna companies had united forces, it would have combined the second- and third-largest sellers of tinned tuna in the U.S. That’s a big deal when you consider that there are really only three major players in the canned fish business in the country, with the first-largest seller being Starkist.

“Consumers are better off without this deal,” Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer said in a statement, adding that the two companies shouldn’t be surprised. “Our investigation convinced us – and the parties knew or should have known from the get go – that the market is not functioning competitively today, and further consolidation would only make things worse.”

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