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NY Port Authority, US company sue to stop ports takeover by Arab firm

[JURIST] The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey [official website] filed suit in a New Jersey Superior Court Friday to try to block Dubai Ports World [corporate website], a company from the United Arab Emirates [government website], from taking control of several United States ports. Citing security concerns, the Port Authority claimed that DP World violated its lease by not getting consent for its pending acquisition of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O) [corporate website], a London based company. The lawsuit asks the court to halt DP World's acquisition of P&O, and the court set a hearing date for March 3. Similarly, the state of New Jersey filed a federal lawsuit [JURIST report] Thursday against the Bush administration, claiming that the administration's approval of DP World's acquisition encroaches on the sovereignty of the states in violation of the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. The governors of New York and Maryland have also threatened similar court actions [JURIST report] against the takeover.

In addition, Miami-based Eller & Co. asked [AP report] London's High Court Friday to block DP World from taking over P&O by withholding court approval of the $6.8 billion takeover. DP World has volunteered to postpone its takeover while the Bush administration tries to convince lawmakers to support DP World's acquisition. Several senators have threatened to introduce legislation to block the deal and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) has said that administration's approval of the ports takeover was illegal [JURIST report]. Meanwhile, Dubai Ports World hired a team of lawyers to try to save the deal, including former US Sen. Bob Dole [official profile]. AP has more.

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