• Government says divestment bid same as one rejected earlier
  • `We're on Earth and they're on Mars' U.S. says of negotiations

Electrolux AB made another proposal to settle a U.S. antitrust lawsuit aiming to block the $3.3 billion purchase of General Electric Co.’s appliance business.

The Justice Department said it looks alot like an earlier offer -- one it rejected.

The two sides are to meet tomorrow, an Electrolux spokesman said, though government attorney Ethan Glass told a federal judge Wednesday that wide disagreement remains.

“We’re on earth and they’re on Mars,” Glass said.

The U.S. sued to block the deal, warning that if allowed to go through it may raise prices for consumers. The Swedish company has said it would sell “certain assets” as part of a settlement of the case. Ben Geldon, a spokesman for Electrolux, declined to provide further details.

Hearing

At a hearing in Washington federal court, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan encouraged Electrolux, GE and the U.S. to strike a deal ahead of a November trial.

“There’s a lot at stake,” Sullivan told the lawyers. Electrolux shares fell 3 percent.

The case is U.S. v. AB Electrolux, 15-01039, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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