FTC's Kroger-Albertsons Deal Challenge Set For August Trial: Report

Zinger Key Points
  • FTC lawsuit targets Kroger-Albertsons merger.
  • Companies defend merger citing competitive necessity.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s effort to halt the $24.6 billion merger between Kroger Co. KR and Albertsons Companies Inc ACI is reportedly slated for trial in Oregon at the end of August.

U.S. District Judge Adrienne Nelson set the trial to commence on August 26 in Portland, anticipated to span two to three weeks, reported Bloomberg.

The merger, if approved, would mark the largest deal in U.S. grocery history. 

The FTC, backed by eight states and Washington D.C., alleges the merger would adversely impact worker wages and consumer prices.

Kroger and Albertsons argue it’s necessary to compete with major non-union competitors like Amazon.com Inc AMZNWalmart Inc WMT, and Costco Wholesale Corporation COST.

The companies propose significant investments to mitigate concerns, including $500 million to lower prices and $1 billion for worker wages and benefits.

However, the FTC deems their divestment plan inadequate, urging for further concessions.

Kroger and Albertsons, collectively operating nearly 5,000 supermarkets nationwide, contend that blocking the merger would disadvantage consumers and workers while bolstering larger rivals.

Price Action: KR shares closed lower by 1.75% at $54.99 on Monday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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