Brian Albrecht on Kroger and Albertsons’ Divestitures

Anchorage Daily News View Original Source

Anchorage Daily News – ICLE Chief Economist Brian Albrecht was quoted in a story in the Anchorage Daily News about Kroger and Albertsons’ proposal to divest stores in order to complete their planned merger. You can read full piece here.

Brian Albrecht, an economist with the International Center for Law and Economics, a think tank in Portland, Oregon, said the stores that are likely to be part of the divestiture are those in larger cities, such as where Fred Meyer and Carrs Safeway compete within close distance of each other. That’s because the divestiture is likely designed to reduce anti-competitive concerns among federal regulators, he said.

One such situation is the Fred Meyer and Carrs Safeway stores in Midtown Anchorage that are a hop across the Seward Highway from each other.

Albrecht said Alaska is on deck to see a large proportion of stores sold for its small population, compared to other states.

He said the choice of C&S appears to be a good move by Kroger and Albertsons, Albrecht said.

C&S has enough money to operate stores that can compete with a newly merged company. But they’re not so big that their proposed acquisition of more than 400 stores would create its own antitrust issues, he said.

“I think the FTC would be in a really hard spot if they don’t take this very seriously as a solution, he said.