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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alongside attorneys general from nine jurisdictions, has filed a lawsuit to block the $24.6 billion merger between Kroger and Albertsons, citing it as a significant threat to competition, potentially leading to higher prices and adverse effects on workers.

The coalition argues that the merger, described as the “largest proposed supermarket merger in US history,” could have detrimental consequences for consumers already burdened by rising grocery costs. “Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons would lead to additional grocery price hikes for everyday goods, further exacerbating the financial strain consumers across the country face today,” stated Henry Liu, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.

Kroger Albertsons Merger Report Oct2022 2 2

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes voiced concerns on behalf of Arizonans, indicating widespread apprehension about the merger’s impact on community life. “It is clear that Arizonans in rural and urban communities alike are seriously concerned about the potential for drastic changes to their daily lives if this merger goes through,” Mayes said, emphasizing the merger’s primary benefit to shareholders over consumers and workers. This sentiment is echoed by critics like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who highlighted the merger’s implications for consumer prices and worker wages on X, stating, “Giant grocery chains are price gouging American families, and the Kroger-Albertsons merger threatens higher prices for consumers, store closures, and lower wages for workers.”

Kroger and Albertsons defend the necessity of their merger as a means to remain competitive against dominant industry players such as Amazon, Walmart, and Costco. An Albertsons spokesperson argued that blocking the merger would disadvantage customers and fortify the position of larger retailers, thereby contradicting the FTC’s efforts to check their influence. Similarly, a Kroger spokesperson argued that preventing the merger would only benefit these larger, non-unionized competitors, allowing them to continue to dominate the grocery industry.


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