ICLE on the FTC’s Grocery-Merger History
The FTC has rarely interfered with grocery mergers because companies have divested stores to meet regulatory requirements, according to a new white paper from the International Center for Law & Economics, a nonprofit and nonpartisan research center. Only one has been challenged in court since 1988: the tie up Whole Foods and Wild Oats in 2007.
“Over the last 35 years, the FTC has allowed every other supermarket merger and most retail-store transactions to proceed with divestitures,” according to the paper. “The FTC’s historic approach recognizes the reality that competitive concerns regarding supermarket mergers can be readily and adequately remedied by divestitures in geographic markets of concern.”