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Colorado AG Files Suit to Block Kroger-Albertsons Merger


Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court, Wednesday, to block the proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons in the state. Kroger operates 148 King Soopers and City Market stores and Albertsons operates 105 Safeway and Albertsons stores in Colorado. 

According to the lawsuit, the merger would eliminate head-to-head competition between Kroger and Albertsons and consolidate an already heavily concentrated market, which it claims is bad for Colorado shoppers, workers, and suppliers. The lawsuit also challenges an illegal “no-poach” agreement between the two companies during a 2022 strike when employee movement was a threat to Kroger’s operations.

“Coloradans are concerned about undue consolidation and its harmful impacts on consumers, workers, and suppliers,” stated Weiser. “After 19 town halls across the state, I am convinced that Coloradans think this merger between the two supermarket chains would lead to stores closing, higher prices, fewer jobs, worse customer service, and less resilient supply chains.”

Kroger provided the following statement in response to the suit, according to various news reports. It did not immediately respond to SFA News Daily's request for comment.

“We are disappointed in Attorney General Weiser’s premature decision to file a lawsuit while the merger is still under regulatory review, and we remain in active dialogue with the FTC and the other state Attorneys General."

Earlier this week, Kroger said it was committed to bringing lower prices and more choice to consumers across the country following its proposed merger with Albertsons Cos.

“We believe the way to be America's best grocer is to provide great value by consistently lowering prices and offering more choices. When we do this, more customers shop with us and buy more groceries, which allows us to reinvest in even lower prices, a better shopping experience, and higher wages," said Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO of Kroger in a statement. "We know this model works because we've been doing it successfully for many years, and this is exactly what this merger will bring customers – lower prices and more fresh, affordable choices."