General Electric has walked away from a $3.3 billion agreement to sell its appliances business to Sweden's Electrolux, terminating the deal after months of opposition from US competition regulators. 

GE said it would pursue other suitors for its century-old appliance unit but declined to say who they might be. 

"The appliances business is performing well and GE will continue to run the business while it pursues a sale," the company said in a statement. 

Shares of Electrolux, which sought to double its US sales with the purchase, tumbled on the news, and the company said it will now focus on developing existing brands such as Frigidaire, Kenmore and Tappan and could look at other acquisitions. 

The US Justice Department had filed a lawsuit in July asking a judge to stop the deal, arguing that it would push appliance prices up by 5%. 

Electrolux, GE and larger competitor Whirlpool make up more than 90% of major kitchen appliances sold to homebuilders, according to the lawsuit. 

This has been a year of megadeals but also a year of aggressive deals killed by equally aggressive US competition authorities. 

Failed deals include Comcast's bid to buy Time Warner Cable, Sysco's plan to buy US Foods, Thai Union's plan to buy Bumble Bee tuna and Applied Materials' scrapped plan to merge with Tokyo Electron. 

More mergers are under review including two insurance deals, Aetna's deal for Humana and Anthem's  planned merger with Cigna, along with a deal between Baker Hughes and Halliburton and Staples' merger with Office Depot. 

The acquisition of GE's appliance business would have seen Electrolux leapfrog Whirlpool as the world's biggest appliances maker, strengthening its position in North and South America. 

"We're disappointed but we're certainly not defeated," chief executive Keith McLoughlin told a conference call. 

He said the firm would "continue to have a strong, robust M&A (mergers and acquisitions) process", without elaborating.

Some analysts suggested McLaughlin might decide to leave in the face of the deal collapse. 

With his family having returned to the US several years ago, speculation has been rife McLoughlin, who has been CEO for almost five years and imported manufacturing practices from the car industry to boost profitability, could soon leave.

McLoughlin said in a statement he remained committed to Electrolux and would continue as CEO. 

In 2014, Electrolux made around 33% of its 112 billion crowns ($13.2 billion) of sales in North America compared to around 35% in Europe. 

Before the GE deal was announced, Electrolux had been looking to buy into growth in emerging markets, a strategy it may now revisit. 

The Swedish firm said GE had asked it pay out a termination fee of $175m that was part of the transaction agreement.

It said fourth-quarter results would include about 175 million crowns of transaction and integration costs and would be hit by about 225 million crowns of costs arising from a bridge facility intended to finance the deal.