FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges that Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.’s Acquisition of Rival Firm Ameristar Casinos, Inc. Would be Anticompetitive in Two Markets

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.’s acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. would reduce competition and lead to higher prices and lower quality for casino customers in St. Louis, where the two companies were direct competitors at the time the Commission filed its Complaint, and in the Lake Charles, Louisiana area, where they would have competed beginning in 2014, after the opening of Ameristar’s new casino.

Under the FTC’s order, first announced in August, Pinnacle is required to sell its Lumiere Place Casino and all associated assets, including two hotels, in St. Louis to a buyer approved by the Commission within six months.  If the Lumiere Place Casino is not divested to an approved buyer within six months, the order allows the Commission to require instead that Pinnacle divest the Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles.  An application submitted by Pinnacle to sell the St. Louis assets is pending with the Commission

In addition, Pinnacle was required to sell its interest in the casino and resort property that Ameristar was developing and had planned to open in Lake Charles in 2014, to a Commission-approved buyer within six months.  On November 20, 2013, the FTC approved Pinnacle’s application to sell the Lake Charles assets to GNLC Holdings, Inc.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC Docket No. D09355; the staff contact is Alexis Gilman, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2579)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to [email protected], or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *