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    FTC Asked to Watch Hershey Sale

    WASHINGTON - The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday told the Federal Trade Commission to keep a close eye on the possible sale of Hershey Foods Corp., The Associated Press reports. The news follows an AP report that said a judge has blocked plans to sell Hershey Foods Corp.

    WASHINGTON - The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday told the Federal Trade Commission to keep a close eye on the possible sale of Hershey Foods Corp., The Associated Press reports. The news follows an AP report that said a judge has blocked plans to sell Hershey Foods Corp. after state officials warned such a move could devastate the candy maker's hometown.

    A sale by the Hershey Trust Co., which holds a 77 percent voting stake in the candy giant, "will likely exceed $10 billion and trigger federal antitrust review," Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., wrote to FTC Chairman Timothy J. Murris in a letter dated Sept. 4. "As a result, I urge the FTC to rigorously examine the antitrust implications of any sale of Hershey Foods."

    Sensenbrenner's letter came at the urging of Rep. George Gekas, a Republican whose district includes Hershey, Pa., where Hershey Foods is based.

    A sale could prompt a Judiciary Committee investigation or hearings, Gekas spokesman Mike Shields said.

    Also on Wednesday Judge Warren Morgan issued a temporary restraining order barring the sale of Hershey Foods, a day after hearing arguments in the case.

    The charitable trust that controls Hershey Foods appealed the decision to the state's Commonwealth Court and asked for a suspension of the injunction pending the appeal.

    The judge's order will last only until he rules on whether Attorney General Mike Fisher can review the sale of the candy maker, should that happen, according to the AP.

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