FTC Concerns Force Simon to Cut Back on Prime Outlets Deal (Monday's News & Notes)

The Wall Street Journal wrote a story on an interesting nugget that came up during the company's second quarter earnings call. The firm has had to modify its pending acquisition of Prime Outlets reportedly to ease antitrust concerns from the Federal Trade Commission. It has removed three properties and $700 million from the deal.

Mr. Simon declined to give the specifics of why the three properties noware being excluded or how the details of the deal have changed due to the reduced number of centers.

However, a person familiar with the talks said the omissions are being made to mollify the FTC.

Adding Prime's 21 centers, less the three now excluded, would cement Simon's dominance of the outlet-center market, giving it a total of 63 outlet properties. That is twice as many as No. 2 outlet-center operator Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc.

The three properties that now will remain with Lightstone rather than going to Simon are the Prime Outlets in St. Augustine, Fla., and two development sites in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Livermore Valley, Calif. Lightstone will retain and develop the properties.

"U.S. antitrust authorities have consistently recognized that the retail industry is highly competitive and fragmented," Simon said Friday.

Aside from that, here's a host of other news stories and blog entries from late last week and over the weekend.

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