Eric Fruits on the FTC’s Kroger/Albertsons Case

Cincinnati Business Courier View Original Source

ICLE Senior Scholar Eric Fruits was quoted by the Cincinnati Business Courier about the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge of the proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons. You can read the full piece here.

Eric Fruits, a Cincinnati native who is senior scholar at the Portland, Ore.-based International Center for Law & Economics, expects the process to run into 2025. Lawyers will need time to take depositions. It could take a month to hear the case and another month for the judge to decide, he said.
“It would be amazing if it got done by the end of the year,” he said.
…Despite the FTC’s strong opposition, experts say Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons is actually a little more likely than not to go through.
Fruits gives it a “slightly better than 50-50” chance of getting completed. One of his arguments: Judges don’t like to be trailblazers, and precedent shows that grocery deals get approved.
“I think Kroger and Albertsons make a pretty good case that this merger won’t harm consumers or workers,” he said.
But the FTC is driven to win this one.
“The current FTC has taken a very aggressive approach, and my guess is they really want a check mark in the win column,” he said.
Fruits believes the true size of the competitive market favors Kroger and Albertsons.