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FTC sues to block Kroger's $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons over monopoly concerns

If the companies successfully merged, they would control more than 5,000 stores and employ 700,000 people across 48 states.

Published: February 26, 2024 12:16pm

The Federal Trade Commission on Monday announced that it filed a lawsuit to stop Kroger Company’s proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons Companies, Inc. over concerns that the merger would create a monopoly. 

The FTC said that the deal, which is the largest proposed supermarket merger in U.S. history, is "anticompetitive" and will end competition between the two chains, which would lead to higher grocery prices and lower quality products. 

"Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons would lead to additional grocery price hikes for everyday goods, further exacerbating the financial strain consumers across the country face today," FTC's Bureau of Competition Director Henry Liu said. "Essential grocery store workers would also suffer under this deal, facing the threat of their wages dwindling, benefits diminishing, and their working conditions deteriorating."

If the companies successfully merged, they would control more than 5,000 stores and 4,000 pharmacies and employ 700,000 people across 48 states.

Other than the namesake Kroger store, Kroger also controls brands such as Harris Teeter and Quality Food Centers. Albertsons also operates its namesake grocery store as well as brands such as Jewel-Osco and Safeway.

Executives of both chains acknowledged that the merger would harm competition, with one executive responding to the proposed deal by saying, "You are basically creating a monopoly in grocery with the merger," per the FTC.

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