Kroger plans to merge with Albertsons in $25 billion deal
Largest merger in U.S. retail history
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - King Soopers and Safeway could soon be owned by the same company. Kroger plans to buy Albertsons -- which owns Safeway -- for nearly $25 billion.
The proposed merger is getting a lot of reaction from all sides, including from Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser, who said in a statement:
“As Colorado’s attorney general, I take very seriously our department’s responsibility to review mergers that threaten Colorado consumers. At a time of rising food prices, the possibility of undue consolidation in the grocery business raises serious concerns, particularly since King Soopers and Safeway have a large footprint in Colorado. My department and I will closely monitor and review this proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons to ensure it does not harm consumers or workers.”
Kroger said the deal will help lower prices and provide more options for customers, at a time when the cost of food is going up.
“As long as they keep the doors open and ... for good prices, it’s all right with me,” said Susie Jernigan, a local customer at Safeway.
“Thinking about all this coming together under one big thing is a little concerning,” said another Safeway customer, Tara Coyne.
Local Safeway customers had mixed reactions about two of the biggest grocery chains in Colorado potentially merging.
It would be one of the largest mergers in U.S. retailer history, but local economics professor Joe Craig said it could help customers.
“The argument that King Soopers and Albertsons will have to make is that they will benefit the consumer. If they have a model like Amazon, where does benefit consumer in terms of much lower prices, they will have an easier path forward,” said Craig.
However, not everyone agrees.The union representing workers for both King Soopers and Safeway, sent KKTV 11 News this statement:
“There are many threats, all equally negative; creating food deserts, controlling food pricing and the market, hurting overall jobs and benefits to union workers like pension plans since there will be smaller pool of union members.”
To gain antitrust clearance, the two companies plan to sell at least 100 Albertsons-owned stores to be turned into a new company.
“Companies tend to get more of a pass from the Department of Justice and attorney general when they can deliver on that promise of lower prices and lower costs,” said Craig.
The deal is expected to close in 2024.
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