Buyers are suing Kroger over the Albertsons merger as they claim the postponement will cause consumer chaos
KROGER is under fire after buyers filed a formal lawsuit against the retail chain to prevent an upcoming merger with a competitor.
On February 2, customers from across the country filed a private lawsuit against Kroger in California.
The group intends to block the retailer from its proposed $25 billion acquisition of Albertsons.
According to US News & World Report, several state attorneys general, US lawmakers and consumer groups believe the merger would be “detrimental” to food market competition.
The lawsuit is said to have been filed directly by 25 consumers in California, Texas and Florida.
They claimed that Kroger’s acquisition of its competitor “will serve to raise food prices, reduce food quality, eliminate jobs, close stores and give consumers less choice.”
This point of view of the 25 consumers probably comes from statistics on the positions of Kroger and Albertsons in the food market.
Kroger is reportedly the nation’s top-selling grocery chain, with Albertsons a close second.
Because of this, according to US News & World Report, a merger would mean roughly 5,000 grocery stores would be operated by one company.
To defend this, Kroger and Albertsons said around the time the merger was announced in October 2022, it would allegedly offer a “more efficient distribution chain.”
The companies also said they worked with the US Federal Trade Commission for a “regulatory review.”
Nevertheless, the February 2 private lawsuit is the first to challenge the proposed deal.
The 25 consumers were allowed to bring a private lawsuit against Kroger under US antitrust laws.
Some legal experts have also said they see validity in consumers’ demands.
Joseph Alioto, the San Francisco plaintiff’s attorney, said that “there is no question that the Albertsons are a significant rival” to Kroger.
“It’s the competition that eliminates them,” he told US News & World Report.
FIGHT AGAINST INFLATION
Prior to the lawsuit, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said the merger with Albertsons was intended to lower prices for customers.
Speaking at NRF 2023: Retail’s Big Show in New York City in January, McMullen said he understood Kroger’s consumer struggle with inflation.
“About half of our customers are under severe financial strain – their wages have not kept pace with the inflation that has ensued,” he explained.
It aims to lower product costs in its stores to create more competition from other retail giants like Walmart and Target.
McMullen argued that the merger could bring both companies down prices on their stock, according to Reuters.
As The US Sun previously reported, this still bothered some pundits.
Stacy Mitchell, co-executive director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit that helps communities attract grocery stores and other businesses, is terrified of the agreement.
“This merger is incredibly dangerous,” she noted.
“It’s very likely that if it goes through, more communities won’t have a grocery store.”
University of Buffalo law professor Christine Bartholomew also expressed hesitation about the merger.
“I am deeply concerned about the consumer choice aspects,” Bartholomew said.
“It might not sound like a big deal, but private label is one of the most affordable brands.”
These thoughts were also taken up by US senators such as Bernie Sanders.
“At a time when food prices are skyrocketing due to corporate greed, it would be an absolute disaster to allow Kroger, the second largest grocery store in America, to merge with Albertsons, the fourth largest grocery store in America.” The Biden -Administration must reject this deal,” he wrote in a tweet.
For more information, see The US Sun’s coverage of a shopping expert’s recommendation on when to visit Kroger for the hottest deals.
The US Sun also has the inside scoop on the Kroger secret gas tip that will earn you the double fuel points.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7316172/shoppers-sue-kroger-albertsons-merger/ Buyers are suing Kroger over the Albertsons merger as they claim the postponement will cause consumer chaos