Wed, Aug 16, 2023 12:30 PM
By Derek Draplin, The Center Square
A group of seven Democratic secretaries of state oppose the Kroger-Albertsons merger due to consumer choice concerns, they say in a letter sent Wednesday to the Federal Trade Commission.
The signees – Colorado Secretary Jena Griswold, Arizona Secretary Adrian Fontes, Vermont Secretary Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, Minnesota Secretary Steve Simon, Rhode Island Secretary Gregg Amore, Maine Secretary Shenna Bellows and New Mexico Secretary Maggie Toulouse Oliver – say the merger could affect up to 4,996 in their seven states.
Kroger currently operates the chains King Soopers, City Market and Fry’s, while Albertsons operates Safeway.
The secretaries argue in the letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan that the merger will result in less consumer choice and “no competitive incentive” for the stores to reduce prices.
“The merger would result in Kroger-Albertsons controlling nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. food retail market – a significant consolidation of the already limited competition within the market,” the secretaries wrote.
Secretary Griswold in a statement called on the federal government to step in and “ensure that corporate greed does not result in executives and shareholders enriching themselves while hardworking Americans pay artificially high prices for basic necessities.”
Attorneys general are also keeping a close eye on the merger. In Colorado, Attorney General Weiser’s office is taking public input across the state on the proposed merger. In Arizona, Attorney General Kris Mayes’ office said in February it was investigating the merger for possible antitrust violations.