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Senator Mike Lee Turns His Gaze To Grocery Oversight

 |  October 16, 2022

Senator Mike Lee on the US Senate antitrust panel, promised that there would be significant oversight of a plan by Kroger to buy rival Albertsons.

“Utahns, like all Americans, are suffering from skyrocketing food prices,” Lee said in a statement. “I will do everything in my power to ensure our antitrust laws are robustly enforced to protect consumers from anticompetitive mergers that could further exacerbate the financial strain we already feel in the grocery store checkout aisle.” The $24.6 billion deal was announced Friday.

The grocery chain Kroger announced plans Friday to buy competitor Albertsons for $24.6 billion, potentially creating a grocery empire spanning the United States.

Combined the companies are poised to compete against retail giant Walmart and a growing Amazon presence in the food and grocery market. The Kroger, which lists a dozen Arkansas locations, mostly in or near Little Rock, and Albertsons, which lists one store in Texarkana, are two of the largest US grocers.

After a finalized deal, Kroger is expected to control nearly 12% of the food and grocery market, according to the data analysis company GlobalData, making it the second-largest player in the food and grocery market, behind Walmart.

Kroger leadership did not clarify whether the new SpinCo entity would have brick-and-mortar stores in all those locations or whether the plans included online sales.

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