FTC and State AGs Sue to Block Kroger-Albertsons Merger, Protecting Consumers from Soaring Grocery Bills

February 26, 2024 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — In response to news that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a bipartisan group of 9 state attorneys general have sued to block grocery store Kroger’s $26.4 billion acquisition of its competitor, Albertsons, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.

“By suing to block the Kroger-Albertsons merger, the FTC is keeping grocery bills down and workers in their jobs,” said Morgan Harper, Director of Policy and Advocacy at the American Economic Liberties Project. “From higher prices for consumers, worse wages and benefits for workers, a tighter squeeze on producers and farmers, to an increased risk of grocery and pharmacy deserts across the 48 states this merger affects, the harms of this deal were clear from the start. No divestiture or concession would make it work—which is why over 100,000 workers and countless advocates have spoken out against this disastrous merger. Kroger and Albertsons would be wise to save everyone’s time and abandon this deal.”

Since the deal was announced, 34 Members of Congress have echoed these concerns and urged the FTC to investigate or block this deal. These include Senators Murkowski, Sullivan, Warren, Sanders, Booker, Hirono, Blumenthal, Klobuchar, Cantwell, Murray, Rosen, and Wyden, along with 22 Members of the House of Representatives.

The proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger, which would combine the second- and fourth-largest grocers in the country, has the potential to drive up the cost of essential groceries, which would place a substantial burden on working families already struggling to afford food. Countless economic studies, historical data, and Kroger’s own internal thinking show that big grocery store mergers lead to fewer stores and higher prices. As the FTC’s investigation revealed, one executive involved in the deal candidly said, “you are basically creating a monopoly in grocery with the merger.” Furthermore, Kroger’s intention to divest some stores to a distributor, rather than maintaining them as supermarkets, is unlikely to alleviate these concerns—especially given the distributor’s lack of commitment to keeping these stores open, as revealed by internal company communications in the WA Attorney General’s complaint.

Beyond the immediate impact on consumer prices, the merger poses severe implications for workers, producers, and the broader community. The consolidation of Kroger and Albertsons would not only diminish the bargaining power of employees—potentially leading to job losses, lower wages, and worse working conditions—but also jeopardize the livelihoods of independent grocers and producers and farmers throughout the food supply chain. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and many of its local chapters, representing a significant portion of the workforce, have voiced strong opposition to the merger, highlighting the risk of approximately 5,750 job losses in just the Los Angeles region. Moreover, the concentration of market share in the hands of Kroger-Albertsons and Walmart—exceeding 70% in 167 cities—threatens to transform vibrant communities into food and pharmacy deserts, particularly in rural and low-income areas, undermining the fabric of local economies and jeopardizing public health.

Read “Supermarket Squeeze: The Real Costs of the Kroger-Albertsons Deal” for more info.

Learn more about Economic Liberties here.


The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.