Colorado official joins in opposition to Kroger deal

Jena Griswold

The Colorado secretary of state has joined in an effort opposing a proposed acquisition that would further consolidate the retail food industry.

Jena Griswold and six other secretaries of state submitted a letter to the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission opposing Kroger Co.’s  planned $24.8 billion acquisition of Albertsons Cos.

Secretaries of state from Arizona, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont also pushed for the FTC to block a deal they said would result in one entity controlling nearly a quarter of the U.S. retail food market.

Griswold and the others questioned whether the merger would result in higher prices and plans to close stories would limit access to food in some communities. Moreover, they raised concerns about the effects of the deal on farmers, small businesses and other suppliers that rely on a competitive market.

“Massive corporate consolidations raise prices and put an even greater burden on American families who are already struggling to pay bills and keep food on the table,” Griswold said. “The federal government must step in to ensure that corporate greed does not result in executives and shareholders enriching themselves while hardworking Americans pay artificially high prices for basic necessities.”

In a written statement, Kroger disputed those arguments. “Kroger looks forward to realizing the compelling benefits this merger will offer, including enhancing competition, lowering prices for customers, improving access to fresh food, creating opportunities to continue investing in our associates and securing the long-term future of union jobs.”

According to the statement, Kroger expects to complete the merger in early 2024.