Sale Of Albertsons to Kroger Gets Opposition From Oregon State

The lawsuit seeking to block the proposed purchase of Albertsons and Safeway by supermarket giant Kroger will be opposed by Oregon State, which joined the federal government and other states in the lawsuit on Monday.

The parent company of Fred Meyer and QFC- each with a large presence across the Northwest,  Kroger has indicated that it is buying Albertsons, who run grocery stores under its own name, and the Safeway, United Supermarkets, Von’s brands, and other brands. The plans were announced in fall 2022 that Kroger will buy its next-largest competitor, Albertsons Cos., for $24.6 billion.

The two companies, Kroger and Albertsons- two of Oregon’s biggest grocery chains, own a combined 170 stores under the Fred Meyer, QFC, Albertsons, and Safeway brands. They are also two of the biggest grocery chains in the nation.

The companies are portraying themselves as underdogs as they pursue the deal. By creating a bigger company, the new giant will be better placed to compete with even bigger retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, and Costco. This will enable them to negotiate for lower prices according to the two companies.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the state attorneys general argue that combining Kroger with Albertsons will result in less competition, giving the merged chain too much control over employee’s wages and grocery prices.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the state attorneys general argue that combining Kroger with Albertsons will result in less competition, giving the merged chain too much control over employee’s wages and grocery prices.


Kroger And Albertsons To Sell Over 400 Stores To  C&S Wholesale Grocers

The two companies intend to sell off more than 400 stores nationwide to New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers for $1.9 billion as part of a deal to counter antitrust measures. While this includes at least 49 stores in Oregon, Kroger and Albertsons have promised to continue operating the pharmacies and gas stations associated with their stores.

They have not specified which stores and properties would be sold off to C&S yet.

These anticipated measures have materialized with the FTC indicating that it intends to file its lawsuit in Portland.  Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum confirmed that the decision is an indicator of close work between the federal agency and the AG. She said, “The FTC had the option to file anywhere where there would be jurisdiction, which is about anywhere in the country.” She is proud that they chose to file in Oregon.


Oregon State Attorney General Responds to Kroger Deal

AG Rosenblum stated that their investigations revealed that a merger between Kroger and Albertsons would immediately extinguish competitive pressure. This would lead to higher prices for everyday essentials.  It could also cut access to prescription medicines back and give the merger leverage it could use to hold down wages.

The Washington state and Colorado Attorney Generals also filed lawsuits earlier to block the proposed deal. Rosenblum said Monday that her department felt federal antitrust laws were the best way to protect consumers and grocery workers. The states of Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, and others are also joining the lawsuit.


Unions Disagree On Sale Of Albertsons, Safeway

On Monday, some grocery unions issued statements applauding the FTC’s decision to oppose the Kroger-Albertsons merger. In contrast, the national United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in Oregon and other western states endorsed the deal. The union sees it as the best outcome for workers, assuming that private equity backers and Albertsons’ managers will eventually sell the company.


Albertsons And Kroger To Oppose Federal Government Action

Albertsons said in a statement that the acquisition by Kroger would expand competition, lower prices, and help keep union grocery jobs. They intend to fight the federal government and go ahead with their deal.

Kroger issued a statement saying that they are looking forward to litigating the lawsuit action in court. Ensuring that they can deliver the benefits of the merger to communities across America, they said this includes, “Lower prices, more choices, and more good-paying union jobs for decades to come.”

D-Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden applauded Monday’s suit. He called for the FTC to block the merger because it would raise grocery and prescription costs for Oregonians by giving Kroger and Albertsons too much power. He said, ”It’s clear the FTC agrees.”

Morning Brief Newsletter
Sign up today for our daily newsletter, a quick overview of top local stories and Oregon breaking news delivered directly to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.