In late July it was announced that Dollar Tree would buy competitor Family Dollar Stores in a cash and stock deal worth $9.2 billion, and that both companies unanimously approved the merger. However, reports today said that Dollar General offered $9.7 billion in cash for Family Dollar.

Today’s move by the top dollar store in the U.S. is widely seen as a defensive move, as a Family Dollar – Dollar Tree combo would represent a long term market share threat. However, some analysts expect Dollar Tree to make a counteroffer, since the acquisition would do more to transform Dollar Tree’s business than it would for Dollar General, which is more similar to Family Dollar.

According to a Bloomberg story, the combined Dollar General – Family Dollar company would need to sell as many as 700 stores to gain antitrust approval. Still, the result would be about 20,000 locations, making it the nation’s largest retail chain in terms of locations.

Currently, Dollar General is the largest dollar store chain, followed by Family Dollar and Dollar Tree.