Maryland and DC join lawsuit to block Kroger, Albertsons merger

Elected officials in Maryland and D.C. are teaming up in an attempt to stop the largest supermarket merger in U.S. history, alleging that the proposed $24.6 billion deal between Kroger and Albertsons is anticompetitive.

Kroger operates Harris Teeter stores, while Safeway stores are operated by Albertsons.

"This merger could reduce competition, and as a result, drive up prices for consumers," Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown said in a pre-recorded video released Monday.


US sues to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons, saying it could push prices higher

The FTC sued to block a proposed merger between grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons, saying the $24.6 billion deal would eliminate competition and lead to higher prices for millions of Americans.

Brown, along with D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb, are among a group of nine state attorneys general joining a lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

"Communities where there are already limited store choices could become food deserts," said Brown.

Kroger disagreed, releasing a statement Monday, saying the FTC’s attempts to stop the merger actually make it more likely that there will be higher prices and fewer grocery stores, adding, "This decision only strengthens larger, non-unionized retailers like Walmart, Costco, and Amazon by allowing them to further increase their overwhelming and growing dominance of the grocery industry."

Albertsons also released a statement, calling the FTC’s view of the grocery industry "outdated." A company spokesperson said they look forward to presenting their views in court.