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Electrolux/GE Update: Decision Expected By January

Electrolux, which is battling the Justice Department in court for the OK to acquire GE’s appliance business, expects a ruling as early as next month, or by January at the latest.

The battle centers on the regulatory agency’s antitrust suit, which contends that a merged Electrolux and GE would unfairly dominate the country’s cooking-products segment and the homebuilders’ channel.

In a statement, Electrolux denied speculation that it’s in talks with Justice attorneys to reach a settlement, although it said it “may be willing to consider a reasonable” deal.

What it won’t consider, a company attorney told Bloomberg News earlier this month, is the agency’s demand that it divest its entire U.S. business to receive its blessing.

Instead, the company said it will continue to pursue its case in court. The trial began Nov. 9 in a federal district court in Washington, and Electrolux expects a swift conclusion next month.

It said it plans to close the $3.3 billion buyout soon after, assuming the suit is thrown out.