Rep. Smith Joins Rep. Jayapal and Colleagues Calling on the Federal Trade Commission to Scrutinize Proposed Merger Between Kroger and Albertsons
November 21, 2022
SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today joined Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and colleagues in sending a letter to Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Lina Khan regarding the recently announced merger between Kroger and Albertsons. The members asked that the FTC investigate the merger between the two supermarket chains for the effect it will have on competition in the market. This comes after Rep. Smith sent a letter on November 3 to Kroger and Albertsons raising his concerns about the merger’s impact on consumers and workers in Washington state.
The members wrote, “Kroger’s proposed acquisition of Albertsons presents several anticompetitive concerns. For consumers, the consolidated grocery chain could offer fewer product choices and higher costs for essential goods. For workers, the acquisition could impair bargaining power for fair wages and safe working conditions in local communities. For small- and medium-sized grocers, this acquisition could diminish their already strained resources and drive up supply costs.”
“Close and skeptical investigation of this transaction is consistent with Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits any acquisition the effect of which “may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly” in “any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce.” As indicated, this transaction has the potential to lessen competition in consumer, labor, and supply markets. This transaction could raise prices and limit options for essential goods,” the members continued.
“We are at a critical moment in our country where we have the evidence and the opportunity to address corporate consolidation not only through a consumer-oriented lens, but also through the lens of labor, equity, upstream supply, and small business. Given these concerns, we urge you to closely evaluate the proposed Kroger- Albertsons acquisition to ensure it does not undermine competition,” the members concluded.
The letter was signed by: Adam Smith (WA-09), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), and David Cicilline (RI-01).
A full copy of the letter can be found here.