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The nonprofit ParentsTogether coalition has come out against Kroger's proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons, saying that in its estimation the deal will "likely raise grocery prices, undermine competition, and lower worker wages."

According to the statement, "Over 13,000 parents signed a petition demanding that the Federal Trade Commission complete a thorough investigation and ultimately block the merger to prevent a grocery monopoly and protect the wellbeing of economically strapped families."

The statement goes on:

"Parents should know that there are already important legal steps being taken on the federal and state levels to investigate and possibly prevent the merger. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights held a special hearing questioning the Kroger and Albertsons CEOs for potential antitrust violations, and the Federal Trade Commission has already issued two requests for information from Kroger on its $24.6 billion deal to acquire Albertsons. Kroger had initially planned for the merger to start in early 2024, but federal regulators have the power to block the merger by enforcing antitrust laws. 

"On top of the FTC investigation, in February 2023 a group of grocery consumers in California filed a federal antitrust lawsuit to block the merger."

KC's View:

Kroger and Albertsons, of course, would dispute the assertion that a merger will raise prices and lower wages and be bad for competition - it will make the argument to the FTC that precisely the opposite will happen.


I'm not sure the degree to which the opposition will affect the FTC's deliberations and eventual decision, though the current FTC leadership seems more inclined to put up roadblocks to these mega-mergers.  The noise at the moment seems to be coming from the opposition, but there almost certainly is a lot of groundwork being done by proponents who hope they will be able to smooth the path to a merger.