(Annapolis, Md) Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has joined attorneys general from nine states and the District of Columbia, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, in challenging the proposed merger of Sysco Corp. and USF Holding Corp. (US Foods)

Sysco and US Foods are the two largest food service distributors in the United States, currently competing with each other to sell and deliver a wide array of food to restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools and other facilities. A complaint filed in federal court in the District of Columbia alleges that the merger, valued at $8.7 billion, would reduce competition by creating an entity that would control approximately 75 percent of the national market and 80 percent of the market in Annapolis and the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The FTC also issued an administrative complaint against the two companies, alleging that the merger would violate U.S. antitrust law.

Competition in the marketplace benefits consumers by encouraging businesses to provide better and more affordable goods and services,â?? said Attorney General Frosh. This proposed merger would reduce competition, and could have a big impact for Marylanders dining out, as well as for food service providers.

The complaint filed today seeks an injunction to block Sysco and US Foods from consummating the proposed merger while the FTC's administrative proceedings are pending. The companies would otherwise be free to complete the merger next month. 

In addition to the Federal Trade Commission and Maryland, California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia joined in this enforcement action.

Sysco has a location in Somerset County.