HANOVER, PA. — Snyder’s of Hanover and Utz Quality Foods on Nov. 4 said they have discontinued their pursuit of a merger between the two Hanover, Pa.-based snack food companies that was first announced Oct. 22. The announcement comes after the Federal Trade Commission late last week failed to clear the merger’s first and second filing. As a result, Utz decided to withdraw from what it said likely would have been a protracted approval process.

"While we were excited by the prospect of merging with Snyder’s of Hanover, we knew that participating in another F.T.C. request would put a strain on our company and ultimately distract us from what we are here to do every day, which is to provide high-quality snacks to our customers and serve our community," said Michael W. Rice, chairman and chief executive officer of Utz Quality Foods. "As we look toward 2010 and beyond, we are committed to staying aggressive in the marketplace and building our product lines."

Carl E. Lee Jr., president and c.e.o. of Snyder’s of Hanover, said the decision was "unexpected," but added that Snyder’s now must "move on to other opportunities that are available to our company."

Snyder’s of Hanover, Inc. is a family-owned company that employs 2,250 associates and operates 1,800 distribution routes nationwide. The company has annual sales of $750 million.

Utz Quality Foods, Inc. produces a full line of snacks in its four Hanover-based manufacturing facilities, employs more than 2,200 workers, and has annual sales in excess of $400 million.