MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Dean Foods Co. official says the company decided to settle an antitrust lawsuit because ongoing litigation is expensive and distracting.

The Justice Department filed the lawsuit against the nation's largest dairy company last year with attorneys general from Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The lawsuit objected to Dean Foods' 2009 purchase of a Waukesha plant from Foremost Farms USA. The purchase gave Dean Foods control over nearly 60 percent of milk sales in the states and raised concerns it would quash competition.

The proposed settlement filed in federal court Tuesday requires the company to sell the plant and notify authorities before it acquires one worth $3 million or more.

Spokeswoman Marguerite Copel says in an email that Dean Foods believes the sale supported competition but this was the best resolution.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.