From Fox Business:
"Food and drug retailer Kroger Co on Wednesday asked a U.S. judge to dismiss as 'speculative' a consumer antitrust lawsuit alleging the company's proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of rival Albertsons Companies Inc would lessen grocer competition and drive up prices.
"Lawyers for Kroger said in a filing in California federal court that the grocery store shoppers who sued over the deal have failed to define the relevant market necessary to evaluate grocery store competition and to identify how the acquisition would hurt consumers. The attorneys said the lawsuit was lacking 'real-world facts'.
"U.S. competition law 'does not turn every grocery store consumer in the country into a roving antitrust enforcer,' lawyers for Kroger told U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria.
The suit was filed by 25 consumers from states that include California, Texas and Florida, and come as the proposed acquisition is being scrutinized by both federal and state regulators.
- KC's View:
I'm not a lawyer, but aren't most lawsuits "speculative," in that they take a position opposite that of another entity and then go before and judge and jury to attempt to prove that the speculation is factual?
And since Kroger and Albertsons both maintain that this merger is not anti-competitive and in fact is pro-consumer, shouldn't consumers actually have the most standing, rather than the least, to challenge the deal? "Roving antitrust enforcer" may sound ominous, but this sounds more like consumers finding and using their voices to influence public policy. Isn't that a good thing? And shouldn't, at some level, Kroger and Albertsons welcome the opportunity to prove their case in a public forum?
I'm not even against the merger. I'm just asking.