As we previously reported, the FTC sought a preliminary injunction to block a merger between Sysco and U.S. Foods pending the outcome of its administrative trial challenging the deal.  Yesterday, Judge Amit Mehta of the federal district court for the District of Columbia granted the agency’s request, finding that “there is a reasonable probability that the proposed merger will substantially impair competition in the national customer and local broadline markets and that the equities weigh in favor of injunctive relief.”  The court’s order can be viewed here, but its opinion is sealed (a redacted version will be made available on June 26, 2015).

The injunction clears the way for the administrative trial, which is scheduled for July 21, 2015.  In a comment, FTC Competition Director Debbie Feinstein said, “We look forward to proving at trial that this deal would lead to higher prices and diminished service for customers, including restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and schools.”