Back to Specialty Food News

Kroger, Albertsons Merger May Be In Final Stretch

Kroger recently demonstrated to the Federal Trade Commission that its $24.6 billion planned merger with Albertsons complies with antitrust rules, reports local news source WCPO 9 Cincinnati.

The companies “certified substantial compliance on November 15,” according to an attorney for both retailers. This move triggers a 30-day timeline in which the FTC must either accept the deal or sue to block it. One caveat, however, is that both parties can delay a decision to continue to negotiate.

“It’s clear that there’s a lot at stake with this merger,” FTC Chair Lina Khan told a TV station in Denver, adding that the review may continue into 2024. “The FTC’s investigation is ongoing and we haven’t made any final decisions.”

Critics of the merger claim that the newly formed company would have too much market share, leading to higher prices at checkout and lower pay for grocery workers. One such critic, Eric Fruits, an antitrust expert and senior scholar for the International Center for Law & Economics in Oregon, said the “waterbed effect” could impact the outcome.

“If you sit on one part of a waterbed, that part sinks down and then another part rises up,” said Fruits. “As a large firm pushes down prices that they pay, other firms pay higher prices. And so there’s this argument that through this waterbed effect, other firms might be harmed.” Full Story

Related: Significant Shrink Attributed to Self-Checkout; Price Chopper/Market 32 Buys Former ShopRite Stores