Kroger and Albertsons merger faces scrutiny by Congress and FTC 

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The merger of retail giants Kroger and Albertsons is being closely scrutinized by Congress and the FTC. The proposed 25-billion-dollar merger, was announced in mid-October

According to a Kroger press release from 10/14/2022, the merger would dramatically change the supermarket business in the U.S. When the first and second largest supermarket chains are combined, the new company would operate 4,998 stores across 48 states, 66 distribution centers, 52 manufacturing plants, 3,972 pharmacies, and 2,015 fuel centers, across 48 states. 

Last week a congressional hearing was held. Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen and Albertsons’ top executive, Vivek Sankaran, faced questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust panel. 

Congressional leaders expressed concern over the potential for anti-competitive behavior.  And asked whether the merger between the number one and number two grocery companies would result in potential price abuses.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) questioned the timing of any merger. And suggest that “current macroeconomic conditions” will make consumers even more vulnerable to price abuses.