The Justice Department Drops Lawsuit Against Assa Abloy
The Justice Department has agreed to drop its lawsuit to block Assa Abloy AB’s acquisition of a unit of Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. in exchange for the divestiture of some assets to Fortune Brands Innovations Inc.
The Justice Department had sued to block the deal in September 2022, arguing that the acquisition would concentrate the markets for residential door hardware and smart locks. The parties were in the middle of a trial in the US District Court for the District of Columbia when they reached the settlement, which is subject to court approval.
Under the terms of the settlement, Assa Abloy will divest its EMTEK and Schaub premium mechanical door hardware businesses, its Yale and August residential smart lock businesses in the US and Canada, along with other smart lock units in the two countries. The divestiture is intended to preserve competition in the residential door hardware and smart lock markets.
The settlement is a victory for the Justice Department and consumers. It will help to ensure that there is continued competition in the residential door hardware market, which will benefit consumers by leading to lower prices and more innovation.
The settlement is also a sign that the Justice Department is committed to enforcing antitrust laws to protect consumers from anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions.