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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's government will attempt to block Wal-Mart's acquisition of a local supermarket chain, saying it violates the island's antitrust laws, the Associated Press reports.
The government will take court action to invalidate the retail giant's purchase of Supermercado Amigo's 35 supermarkets, which employ 4,500 workers, Justice Secretary Anabelle Rodriguez said Thursday.
Rodriguez called the transaction contrary to the best interests of Puerto Rico's consumers, business owners and distributors.
Rodriguez's comments were "disappointing," said Wal-Mart Puerto Rico Inc. spokesman Federico Gonzalez Denton. 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, Gonzalez said.
"We believe that all legitimate antitrust concerns related to the purchase of Supermercados Amigo were addressed by the consent decree issued by the Federal Trade Commission," Gonzalez said.
The acquisition was reportedly worth $225 million. Founded in 1966, the Amigo supermarkets will continue operating under the Amigo brand name, according to the AP.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. currently operates 19 Puerto Rican stores including eight Sam's Clubs.