retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The New York Times is reporting on its website this morning that Dollar General management is hoping to secure more time to resolve regulatory issues and accomplish its proposed $9.1 billion takeover of Family Dollar. "In highlighting the obstacles that it still faces — principally a disagreement with the Federal Trade Commission over how many stores it would need to sell should it buy Family Dollar — Dollar General was seen by analysts as conceding defeat," the Times writes. "That would leave Family Dollar clear to merge with a smaller rival, Dollar Tree, in an $8.5 billion deal."

The story notes that "two prominent investor advisory firms have urged shareholders to vote in favor of the lower offer, arguing that it provides more certainty."

• The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) yesterday announced that it has joined a newly formed coalition of 20 merchant and Silicon Valley groups with the intention "to reform the patent system and combat abusive patent litigation that unfavorably impacts business."

FMI said that it was joining "industry retail partners at the National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association, restaurant groups in addition to online search engine Google and communications firms to fight back against patent trolls ... that are targeting end-users of widely adopted technology. FMI stands strong with its coalition partners against these meritless, abusive strains inflicted on the businesses we represent."
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