Wal-Mart Sues Puerto Rico Over Purchase

SAN JUAN - Wal-Mart has filed suit against the Puerto Rican justice department to prevent it from blocking the retail chain's acquisition of a local supermarket chain, The Associated Press reports.

The suit, filed Friday in a federal court in San Juan, accuses the Justice Department of discrimination in pursuing an antitrust action to block Wal-Mart's purchase of Amigo supermarkets, Wal-Mart spokesman Federico Gonzalez Denton told local radio station Noti Uno.

"What we feel is that a very different measurement is being used from what has been used in the past with other transactions," Gonzalez Denton said on the radio.

The acquisition was reportedly worth $225 million.

Justice Secretary Anabel Rodriguez, who is being named as defendant in the lawsuit, last week confirmed the government's intention to sue Wal-Mart to apply local antitrust laws. Rodriguez said the transaction ran contrary to the best interests of consumers, business owners and distributors in the U.S. Caribbean island.

The Federal Trade Commission issued a consent decree last week validating the February acquisition and allowing Wal-Mart to close the purchase, which it did Thursday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. operates 19 stores on the island, including eight Sam's Clubs. With the Amigo acquisition, Wal-Mart would employ about 10,000 people in the U.S. territory, the company has said.

The 34 Amigo supermarkets would continue operating under the Amigo brand name. Amigo was established in 1966.
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