SUPERMARKET MEGA-MERGER: Feds sue to stop Kroger/Albertsons deal

This morning brings news of the biggest potential roadblock yet to the mega-merger that could put five of West Seattle’s grocery stores under the same ownership: The Federal Trade Commission is suing to stop the merger of Kroger (parent of QFC, Fred Meyer, and other brands) and Albertsons (parent of Safeway among others). West Seattle has two QFC stores and three Safeway stores, and among those, two – Junction QFC and Jefferson Square – are barely a block apart. To the south, Westwood Village QFC and Roxbury Safeway (a former Fred Meyer) are separated by just a few blocks. Sixteen months have passed since the $24 billion merger announcement. In its announcement today, the FTC alleges that “the deal is anticompetitive (and would) eliminate fierce competition between Kroger and Albertsons, leading to higher prices for groceries and other essential household items for millions of Americans.” The merger plan has drawn other opposition since it came to light, including U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal‘s call – announced in West Seattle – for the FTC to investigate. Kroger had sought to calm some concerns via a plan announced last September to sell some of its assets, including the QFC brand name (but not necessarily all QFC stores) to a third party.

WHAT’S NEXT: According to the FTC announcement, its action “marks the beginning of a proceeding in which the allegations will be tried in a formal hearing before an administrative law judge.”

21 Replies to "SUPERMARKET MEGA-MERGER: Feds sue to stop Kroger/Albertsons deal"

  • Derp February 26, 2024 (12:34 pm)

    Didn’t Bob Ferguson,  Wa AG, file a suit not too long ago ? Asking for a friend lol

  • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy February 26, 2024 (1:35 pm)

    This merger is so over the top bad for consumers. It needs to be stopped.

  • Nice Work Fellas February 26, 2024 (4:38 pm)

    Yes, it’s a good thing the fed is stepping in to prevent “higher grocery prices”.   Something something horse something something barn door. **eyeroll**

  • WSCurmudgeon February 26, 2024 (5:03 pm)

    The link is to a 3.5 min video Robert Reich made in Mar 2023 about the merger. Well worth your time.  If you oppose the merger, you. should tell Representative Jayapal and our two (do nothing to protect working people) senators that they should work to kill the merger.

    Some of the deal’s terms have changed since the video was made, but it’s still terrible for consumers and workers. 

    Reich is an economist who was Secretary of Labor in the 1990s.

      Think Grocery Prices are High now? Just wait.

    • Scarlett February 28, 2024 (1:15 pm)

      Both Reich and Krugman are political partisans.  On the one hand, they want to place blame on corporations for exploiting inflation to increase prices, and on the other hand they want to convince you that prices haven’t risen as much as you think they have.  So it becomes a “maximum benefit” political game, in an election year, where you try to place as much blame on corporation as long as you can still convince people that they aren’t really hurting.   

      • i am nice ai bot February 28, 2024 (10:11 pm)

        This sounds like an evil AI bot deployed to advocate for billionaires. Don’t get me wrong, billionaires are awesome. They give us evil AI bots deployed to advocate for billionaires. Don’t get me wrong…

        • Scarlett February 29, 2024 (8:41 am)

          it’s sadly ironic that independent. non-programmed non-partisan thought is now considered A.I. generated;  I’m not sure whether this is an indictment against Homo Sapien or a tribute to A.I.  If A.I was sentinent, it would probably argue that Homo Sapien squandered the last remnants of moral high ground a long, long time ago.  One only needs to look at the thousands of dead in Gaza as evidence.  

  • Daniel February 26, 2024 (5:19 pm)

    “a plan announced last September to sell some of its assets, including the QFC brand name (but not necessarily all QFC stores) to a third party.” – notably this exact plan was implemented for a prior merger (Albertsons and Safeway maybe?). Dozens of stores were sold, but then the third party went bankrupt and less than a year later the stores were rebought by Albertsons anyways.  So that plan doesn’t really mean anything for long term competition.

  • SpencerGT February 26, 2024 (5:35 pm)

    I’m confused.  If one company wants to buy another, what’s wrong with that?

    • Peter February 26, 2024 (6:25 pm)

      The two of them together are so big a merger would create an effective monopoly that is very clearly illegal under federal law. If this merger is allowed, food prices will skyrocket as most consumers will have little other choice. Closing probably 25% of the grocery stores in Seattle also creates the very real threat of actual starvation due to lack of access to food. So that is what is wrong with one company wanting to buy another. 

      • Rhonda February 26, 2024 (8:58 pm)

        Starvation is HIGHLY unlikely, but soaring prices, store closures, grocery deserts, and mass-layoffs are guaranteed. 

      • 937 February 27, 2024 (6:03 am)

        STARVATION?? hyperbole much?

        So many options available for that to be factually untrue. I’m not pro merger or anything. But I am sick and tired of amped up (false) rhetoric.

    • jack February 26, 2024 (6:40 pm)

      Do just a little more research.

      • SpencerGT February 28, 2024 (7:42 am)

        Into which aspect of this?

    • WS Res February 26, 2024 (7:21 pm)

      Been to Bartell’s lately?

      • got to hand it to ws res February 28, 2024 (10:15 pm)

        WS Res: you usually make no sense or offend a bunch of people with your comments but this is spot on. Rite Aid bought Bartells and is closing stores because they overextended themselves. We could afford to lose either QFC or Safeway in WS, but not both. You can go back to offending people now. 

    • Bill February 27, 2024 (7:47 am)

      “I’m confused” — an understatement if I ever saw one!

    • Neighbor February 27, 2024 (11:35 am)

      The consequences of the merger are what’s wrong with it.

  • Rhonda February 26, 2024 (6:54 pm)

    Good! No merger 🛇

  • Scarlett February 27, 2024 (9:29 am)

    I’m sure monopolistic Amazon is waiting in the wings to increase their share of the grocery business.    

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