Injunction blocking Pacific Seafood-Ocean Gold deal may become permanent
A U.S. District Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction against Oregon-based seafood supplier Pacific Seafood Group from taking action to acquire or control assets of Washington-based Ocean Gold Seafoods or its affiliates.
Pacific abandoned its plans to acquire Ocean Gold in January due to ongoing legal issues brought on by allegations of antitrust violations dating back to 2010. West Coast fishermen accused Pacific of paying below-market prices for whiting, groundfish, shrimp and Dungeness crab in an effort to suppress prices.
In the latest development, U.S. District Court Judge Owen Panner also set a July 21 trial date on the issue of whether the injunction should be made permanent, according to a report by the News-Times in Newport, Ore.
“This is a major victory for the plaintiff fishermen and for the future of competition in three of the four largest seafood markets on the West Coast,” said plaintiffs' counsel Mike Haglund, of the Portland law firm Haglund Kelley LLP, in a statement.
Haglund said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum supported the issuance of a preliminary injunction, characterizing Pacific Seafood's proposed acquisition as "presumptively unlawful."