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History says FTC will approve Kroger-Albertsons merger

History says FTC will approve Kroger-Albertsons merger

According to an article in Supermarket News, a white paper recently released by the International Center for Law & Economics titled “Food-Retail Competition, Antitrust Law, and the Kroger/Albertsons merger” points out that the FTC has shown a pattern of approving deals that include the selling of stores.

In fact, the paper states that over the last 35 years, the FTC has allowed every grocery merger to move forward as long as there were divestitures. And Kroger and Albertsons have already agreed to sell 413 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers if the deal is approved.

The white paper adds that attempts to block the transaction would go against the analytical framework historically used to evaluate similar mergers, as well as the historical precedent of accepting divestitures as a remedy to address localized problems where they arise.

Furthermore, the evolving grocery market favors the Kroger – Albertsons merger, according to the white paper. With shoppers using other means to purchase groceries, including online and via wholesale clubs, the 81% share in retail sales that supermarkets enjoyed years ago dropped to 56% in 2021. The white paper noted that a Kroger – Albertsons combined company would account for 9% of nationwide sales, which would still be less than Walmart and Amazon.