A federal lawsuit against a Texas retailer is asking a federal judge to block the retailer’s proposed merger with a smaller rival.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, arguing that the proposed merger violates the antitrust laws.
In February, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company for allegedly favoring Walmart over Best Buy and Sears over Amazon.
Best Buy has since merged with Best Buy-owned Target.
Walmart’s proposed acquisition of Sears and Best Buy could lead to increased competition in the electronics sector.
The Justice Department said in a statement that it would be reviewing the complaint “to determine whether it is appropriate to proceed to the merits of the case.”
A Walmart spokesperson told Ars that the company has “a strong track record of working with antitrust authorities to protect consumers and small businesses.”
In the suit, filed Tuesday, the government claims that the retailer has violated antitrust laws by favoring Walmart at the expense of other competitors.
Walmart is seeking to acquire Best Buy, the largest U.K. retailer, in a $1.6 billion deal that would allow the retailer to acquire a large portion of the electronics market in the United States.
Best buy has been a fixture of the U-S-first agenda in the last several years, following the merger of Sears Holdings and the merger between Best Buy/Samson and Sears/Wilton, a company that sells furniture and home decor.
The government also claims that Walmart is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by not taking steps to compete against Amazon.
The proposed merger would give Walmart control of more than half of the market in America, according to the lawsuit.
“The proposed transaction is designed to benefit Walmart’s own products, but Walmart’s competitors are likely to see this as an opportunity to reduce their prices, and Amazon’s prices are likely going to increase,” the lawsuit said.
The suit also argues that Walmart “is taking a bait and switch strategy to entice consumers to purchase its products over those of Amazon, thereby enabling Amazon to make profits on Walmart’s products.”
The Justice, however, has yet to file any antitrust lawsuit challenging Amazon’s price controls.
A Walmart spokesman told Ars the company is “open to discussions” with the government.
Walmart has a long history of working closely with the antitrust office in the District of Columbia.
The company filed a similar antitrust lawsuit in the early 2000s, arguing in a court filing that Amazon’s high prices and monopolistic practices caused the market to collapse.
The current lawsuit comes just over a year after the Justice and FTC announced an antitrust settlement against Walmart that gave the retailer a $5.6 million penalty for antitrust violations.
In the first of a series of similar antitrust suits against Walmart, the DOJ filed a separate suit last month against the retailer for violating antitrust laws in a separate case.