ICLE Scholars on the Kroger Merger
The issue of divesting stores could emerge as a key negotiation point in any legal settlement or agreement with regulators, and this could be a relatively easy issue to resolve, according to a recent analysis of the merger by the nonpartisan International Center for Law & Economics.
…“The upshot is the food and grocery industry is arguably as competitive as it has ever been,” said the report on the merger, written by Brian Albrecht and three other analysts at the International Center for Law and Economics.
…If anything, raising prices would make Kroger and Albertsons stores less appealing against low-cost rivals. The proliferation of wholesale clubs, e-commerce options and other competition “significantly constrains” the supermarkets’ ability to raise prices, argued the report from the International Center for Law & Economics.
…State attorneys general can enforce many federal antitrust laws, and they often sign onto federal lawsuits filed by the the FTC or Justice Department, said Brian Albrecht, one of the authors of the International Center for Law & Economics report.
He predicts the FTC will bring a case and some state AGs will get behind it.
“The FTC will do the heavy lifting on everything, but the AGs can go back to their voters and say they are doing something,” Albrecht said in an email to the Arizona Republic.