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Washington state sues Kroger, Albertsons over proposed merger

Jan 16

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A proposed $25 billion merger between the two largest supermarket chains in the U.S. is now facing some opposition. On Monday, Jan. 15, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Kroger and Albertsons, attempting to block the merger. Ferguson argued that the deal would leave shoppers with fewer choices and lead to higher prices.

“This merger is bad for Washington shoppers and workers,” Ferguson said on Monday, Jan. 15. “Shoppers will have fewer choices and less competition, and, without a competitive marketplace, they will pay higher prices at the grocery store.”

The two supermarket chains issued a joint statement, calling Ferguson’s decision to file a lawsuit “premature” since the merger is still under review by the Federal Trade Commission. In the statement, Kroger and Albertsons acknowledged the timeline of the merger being pushed.

“In light of our continuing dialogue with the regulators, we are updating our anticipated closure timeline. We currently anticipate that the closing will occur in the first half of Kroger’s fiscal 2024,” the statement said. “While this is longer than we originally thought, we knew it was a possibility and our merger agreement and divestiture plan accounted for such potential timing.”

The deal was announced in 2022, and last year, Kroger said it would sell more than 400 stores to help the merger get approved. The supermarket chains said a merger is necessary to compete with retail giants like Walmart and Amazon.

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A PROPOSED 25 BILLION DOLLAR MERGER BETWEEN THE TWO LARGEST SUPERMARKET CHAINS IN THE U.S. IS NOW FACING SOME OPPOSITION.

ON MONDAY – WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL BOB FERGUSON SUED KROGER AND ALBERTSONS – ATTEMPTING TO BLOCK THE MERGER.

FERGUSON ARGUED THAT THE DEAL WOULD LEAVE SHOPPERS WITH FEWER CHOICES AND LEAD TO HIGHER PRICES.

THE TWO SUPERMARKET CHAINS ISSUED A JOINT STATEMENT – CALLING FERGUSON’S DECISION TO FILE A LAWSUIT – “PREMATURE” – SINCE THE MERGER IS STILL UNDER REVIEW BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION.

THE DEAL WAS ANNOUNCED IN 2022 – AND LAST YEAR – KROGER SAID IT WOULD SELL MORE THAN 400 STORES TO HELP THE MERGER GET APPROVED.

THE SUPERMARKET CHAINS SAID A MERGER IS NECESSARY TO COMPETE WITH RETAIL GIANTS LIKE WALMART AND AMAZON.

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