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Washington State Will Sue to Block Kroger, Albertsons Merger

Bob Ferguson, Washington State attorney general, plans to file a lawsuit to block the proposed $24.6 billion merger between Kroger and Albertsons, reports Reuters. The lawsuit is expected to be filed in state court.

Kroger and Albertsons have expressed their disapproval.

"Any decision to attempt to enjoin the transaction now would be premature," said a Kroger spokesperson, adding the company was engaged in "productive discussions" with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

"The only parties that would benefit if this deal is blocked would be Amazon, Walmart, and other large, non-union retailers," said an Albertsons spokesperson.

The grocers said that they expect the merger to be finalized by early 2024, following the completion of the FTC’s review.

The proposed merger has caused a legal stir over antitrust concerns and worries that the deal will lead to higher prices for consumers, loss of jobs, and store closures. Six lawmakers recently wrote to the FTC to indicate opposition to the deal.

“This divestiture plan will not ameliorate harms to consumers, workers, and the grocery industry as a whole if the merger is allowed,” they wrote in the letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan. “We urge you to oppose this proposed merger, regardless of the proposed divestiture.”

The FTC is still reviewing the transaction to decide whether to challenge the proposed merger. Full Story (Subscription Required)

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