WASHINGTON, May 24 (Reuters) - The Federal Trade Commission
said on Tuesday it had launched an inquiry into the ongoing
shortage for infant formula in the United States and would
examine the pattern of mergers and acquisitions in the formula
The inquiry comes after a Feb. 17 recall by top baby formula
maker Abbott Laboratories and the closing of its
manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan created one of the
biggest baby formula shortages in recent history for U.S.
President Joe Biden's administration has sought to relieve
the shortage by importing emergency supplies from Europe, the
first of which arrived earlier this week. Biden invoked the Cold
War-era Defense Production Act to help boost supplies.
In a statement, FTC Chair Lina Khan said the inquiry would
"identify the factors that contributed to the shortage or
hampered out ability to respond to it."
The inquiry will also examine mergers and acquisitions in
the infant formula market "to better understand current
concentration, how it came to be, and how that should inform
future merger review," the FTC said.
The FTC will also seek public comment on whether the FTC
itself or state or federal agencies may have taken steps that
contributed to fragile supply chains for infant formula, it
(Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Leslie Adler, Bernard Orr)