Officials of Whirlpool say now the Justice Department has approved their merger with Iowa-based Maytag, with the deal closing last night. Whirlpool spokeswoman Jody Lau says the merger will benefit both the companies and consumers. She says it’ll benefit consumers, trade customers and shareholders, and that the combined entity will better be able to compete in the global marketplace.

Maytag still has administrative offices in Amana, and manufacturing jobs at its plant in Newton. Lau says Whirlpool execs are open to talks with area leaders. They won’t give details about those talks but she says it’s fair to say that they’ll be talking with local officials about the acquisition. Lau says the next step will be to re-organize the structure of the company.

The company’s in the process of “designing the new organization” and she says any changes will be communicated as soon as they can pass them on. The price of Maytag stock jumped 28-percent yesterday when the announcement of the approval was made.