Kroger - Albertsons grocery merger
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Alaska’s U.S. senators are teaming up in an effort to halt or delay the Kroger-Albertsons merger which will affect hundreds of stores across the country, including more than a dozen in Alaska.
While Kroger’s CEO claims the move will result in better service, the announcement which was first publicized last October, is receiving pushback from the delegation, with Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan authoring a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the merger.
Both senators agree the merger goes against the best interests of Alaskans, and the state as a whole. There are too many unanswered questions, including how it might affect consumer prices, food security, and union contracts.
Murkowski and Sullivan wrote, “when reviewing this proposed merger, we ask that you and the FTC set a very high approval bar and consider the following issues that are essential to Alaskans’ well-being.”
“Alaskans are justifiably concerned that this potential merger will mean fewer grocery stores with even more expensive groceries on the shelves,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “Alaskans need to be confident that these uncertainties about access and price will be addressed.”
“Given that the Biden administration’s inflation-inducing policies have been driving up the cost of food, energy and interest rates to 40-year highs, Alaskans need to be assured that the proposed merger won’t impact local competition and increase prices for hard-working families who are trying to make ends meet in the Biden economy,” said Senator Dan Sullivan.
Kroger and Albertsons will sell more than 400 stores and other assets to C & S Wholesale Grocers for approximately $1.9 billion dollars, according to the Associated Press.
While the deal is expected to close sometime next year, the company maintains that frontline associates will remain employed and existing collective bargaining agreements will continue.
The company also says no Alaska stores will be closing.
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