ICLE on Kroger/Albertsons
The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos.’ $1.9 billion deal to divest over 400 stores and supporting assets to C&S Wholesale Grocers offers a viable antitrust remedy to the supermarket giants’ planned mega-merger, the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) reported.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan research group, ICLE on Tuesday released a white paper titled “Food Retail Competition, Antitrust Law and the Kroger-Albertsons Merger,” in which the think tank evaluated $24.6 billion Kroger-Albertsons transaction, the divestiture pact with C&S and the Federal Trade Commission’s recent grocery merger experiences, including the failed Safeway-Albertsons divestiture to Haggen.
“With the FTC’s knowledge of the industry and of its own past successes and failures, divestitures remain an appropriate and adequate remedy for this merger,” Portland, Oregon-based ICLE wrote about the Kroger-Albertsons agreement. “The parties appear committed to working cooperatively with regulators to craft divestitures that fully resolve competitive concerns. Rather than blocking the deal outright, the FTC can allow the merger to proceed, conditioned on acceptable divestitures that protect consumers while permitting efficiency gains across the majority of stores.”