Camalot Todd, Nevada Current
December 21, 2023
Nevada Democratic U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen is urging Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan to block the merger between Kroger and Albertsons grocery.
Both grocery retailers have a strong presence in Nevada.
Kroger, the largest dedicated grocery chain in the U.S., operates 46 stores (as Smith’s) and employs 5,729 people in the state, but announced it would divest 15 properties in Nevada. Kroger routinely appears near the top of the list of Nevada employers with the most full-time employees eligible for Medicaid.
Albertsons is the second largest grocery chain in the country and operates Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons in the state.
“I write with significant concerns about the proposed merger…and its potential impact on already high grocery costs for Nevadans,” Rosen wrote in a Dec. 20 letter to Khan. “At a time when working families in Nevada and across the country are facing high costs for housing, gas, groceries, energy, and more, the Federal Trade Commission must fully exercise its antitrust authority to review and consider blocking this merger, which could increase costs for Nevadans even further.”
Kroger and Albertsons together would account for 16% of the market, still behind Walmart, which dominates one-fifth of the market.
Both companies also operate gas stations and pharmacies inside or adjacent to their grocery stores. The merger could impact those too.
Khan was in Southern Nevada in September to hear feedback from the public about the proposed merger. That visit was part of a series of “listening sessions” hosted by Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford as part of a larger investigation into the potential impact of the country’s largest dedicated grocery chain buying the country’s second largest dedicated grocery chain.
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