Two of the nation’s largest grocery store companies are planning to merge.
The Federal Trade Commission is expected to review the $25 billion deal between Kroger and Albertsons to ensure it complies with antitrust laws. The process will look to make sure the merger would not create a monopoly on groceries, and that companies do not abuse their power.
Locally, the merger would combine the parent companies of Chicago grocery stalwarts Jewel Osco and Mariano’s.
When looking at a deal this large, regulators like the Federal Trade Commission are going to be asking various questions.
“Is it undermining the competition and the benefits of competition that consumers get?” said James Wawrzyn, corporate partner at SmithAmundsen.
The decision to join has raised some concerns for many, from shoppers to U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who are pushing back on the merger because it could mean closings, layoffs and higher food prices.
“Frankly, where there’s been concentration of corporate power amongst market leaders in other industries layoff usually do occur,” said Robert Bruno, professor and director of the Labor Education Program at University of Illinois’ School of Labor and Employment Relations. “... obviously to get this approved there would have to be some stores that are shuttered.”