3M ends $550M bid for Avery Dennison office unit

NEW YORK -- 3M Co. is ending its effort to buy Avery Dennison Corp.'s office and consumer products business, which would have given the company a huge portion of the U.S. labels market to go with its Post-It sticky notes business.

The companies did not give a reason for ending the sale agreement, and Avery Dennison said it will continue pursuing a sale of the division. 3M agreed to buy the business in January for $550 million. The Department of Justice threatened to sue to stop the deal, saying the sale would substantially reduce competition in the sale of labels and sticky notes, resulting in higher prices and less innovation.

3M, based in St. Paul, Minn., would have held more than an 80-percent share in the U.S. market for labels and sticky notes after the deal.

Avery Dennison shares fell 36 cents to close at $31.45. 3M rose 24 cents to close at $93.78.