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Judge Extends Block on Albertsons Payment to Shareholders

Specialty Food Association

A Washington state court has extended the temporary block that has prevented Albertsons from paying a $4 billion dividend to shareholders, reports Reuters.

Earlier this month, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued to block the payment, arguing that it risks severely undercutting the grocery giant’s ability to compete during the time period government regulators would be scrutinizing its merger with Kroger. Ferguson’s motion for a nationwide temporary restraining was granted last week and Albertsons is seeking to overturn it.

King County Superior Court Judge Ken Schubert set a hearing for Nov. 17 to further consider whether to prolong the order. The judge said at a hearing on Thursday that he anticipated live testimony next week.

Lawyers for the retailer and Washington state agreed on Thursday to allow the temporary hold to run at least until Schubert's hearing. Full Story.

Related: Washington Sues to Block Albertsons Payout; State Attorneys General Sue to Block Albertsons Payout.