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Sysco hires lawyers for possible merger fight with regulator

Food distributing company Sysco Corp (SYY.N) has hired top Washington litigators to defend itself if U.S. regulators file a lawsuit to stop its merger with rival US Foods USFOO.UL, two sources close to the deal said on Wednesday.

The deal, announced in December 2013, is controversial because Sysco and US Foods are the two largest companies in their industry. Other distributors cannot match them on offering nationwide contracts for a wide range of goods for customers ranging from hotel chains and hospitals to fast food chains and fine restaurants.

Sysco has hired the law firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP as its counsel if the Federal Trade Commission files a lawsuit to block the $3.5 billion transaction, the two sources said.

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