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Dean Foods to sell milk plant under antitrust deal

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The nation’s largest dairy company has settled an antitrust lawsuit by agreeing to sell a Wisconsin milk processing plant.

The Justice Department filed the lawsuit against Dean Foods Co. last year in concert with attorneys general from Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The lawsuit objected to Dean Foods’ 2009 purchase of a Waukesha plant from Foremost Farms USA. The purchase gave Dean Foods control over nearly 60 percent of milk sales in the three states and raised concerns the company would quash competition and drive up milk prices.

The proposed settlement filed in federal court Tuesday requires the company to sell the plant and notify authorities before it acquires one worth $3 million or more.

Dean Foods didn’t immediately return an e-mail requesting comment Tuesday. A judge must approve the settlement.

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