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Dollar Thrifty CEO ‘Surprised’ If FTC Doesn’t OK Merger

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson said he would be “surprised” if the Federal Trade Commission “does not approve” its $2.6 billion acquisition by Hertz Global Holdings Inc.

“The FTC would be standing in the way of the industry becoming more cost efficient,” Thompson said in an e-mail. “Additionally, the transaction would make Hertz a stronger competitor against the dominant company in the industry, Enterprise Holdings Inc.” Hertz is No. 2 behind Enterprise.

Last month, Hertz agreed to extend the FTC’s deadline to Nov. 16 from Oct. 31 because the FTC hadn’t finished reviewing information provided by the companies, the Park Ridge, New Jersey-based company said in a statement. The acquisition is meeting resistance at the FTC over concern over market share, according to people familiar with the situation.

The $87.50-a-share offer represented an 8 percent premium to Dollar Thrifty’s closing price of $81 on Aug. 24. Dollar Thrifty fell 2.5 percent to $75.07 at 2:11 p.m. in New York. The shares have dropped below the price at which they were trading before the Aug. 26 offer as investors have become more skeptical of FTC approval.

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