NM secretary of state joins call to stop Kroger-Albertsons merger

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – When you go to the grocery story there are a lot of options, but now seven secretaries of state are worried those options could go away if the Kroger and Albertson merger is approved. 

New Mexico’s Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver – along with secretaries from Colorado, Rhode Island, Arizona, Maine, Vermont and Minnesota – signed a letter addressed to the chair of the Federal Trade Commission.

It says in part:

“The merger would result in Kroger-Albertsons controlling nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. food retail market – many consumers will no longer have choice.” 

Kroger-Albertsons will have no competitive incentive to bring down prices. They argue this merger would hurt more than just the shoppers, it would also impact farmers.

The letter explains:

“There are local suppliers, farmers, and small businesses that rely on a competitive grocery market. If the merger goes through, the lack of competition gives Kroger-Albertsons substantial power to dictate prices that harm growers and shippers who will be forced to cut wages for their own workers.”

But Kroger disagrees, in fact they claim the opposite will happen if the merger is approved.

A Kroger spokesperson said:

“Kroger joining with Albertsons will mean lower prices and more choices for more customers in more communities, higher wages and more industry-leading benefits for associates, and growing union jobs.

The Federal Trade Commission has not responded to the letter.

Albertsons and Kroger already owns Smith’s Food and Drug.