The merger between Kroger and Albertsons is facing legal challenges as Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit in a King County Superior Court on Monday to prevent the merger from proceeding.
According to a news release from Ferguson’s office, the merger between the two largest supermarket companies in Washington state will significantly reduce shopping choices for consumers and eliminate crucial competition that helps to maintain affordable grocery prices.
According to the news release, Kroger would gain near-monopolies in many markets, despite the mitigation proposal by both grocery chains to sell off more than 100 stores in Washington.
The lawsuit seeks a permanent nationwide injunction to block the merger, while the Attorney General is also arguing that the merger violates antitrust laws in Washington.
According to Ferguson, the merger has implications for both employees and customers, as stated in the press release.
According to Ferguson, free enterprise thrives on competition among companies, which ultimately benefits consumers. He believes that if the merger goes through, shoppers will face limited choices and reduced competition, resulting in higher prices at the grocery store. Ferguson views this as an unjust situation and has filed a lawsuit to prevent the merger from happening.
Kroger and Albertsons are among the top five largest grocers nationwide. In Washington, these two chains dominate the market, owning over half of the grocery stores in the state.
Kroger has a workforce of over 21,000 employees in Washington alone.
More than 700,000 individuals are employed nationwide in 5,000 stores across almost all 50 states by both companies.