DENVER (KDVR) — A coalition formed against the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger has launched an opposition campaign in hopes of putting a stop to the effort.
The “Stop the Merger” campaign urges people to write to the Federal Trade Commission to oppose the plan. It includes 100 organizations from around the country, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7, which represents workers at both grocery chains.
“The mega-merger, currently undergoing FTC review, would drive out competition, increase food prices, create food deserts, and put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk as well as hurt local farmers and ranchers,” the UFCW Local 7 wrote in a news release about the campaign.
Kroger and Albertsons — the parent companies of King Soopers and Safeway — are asking for the FTC’s approval in the $25 billion merger effort. Kroger is the country’s second-largest grocer, while Albertsons is the fourth.
Kroger, Albertsons big in Colorado grocery market
Both companies have large shares of Colorado’s grocery store market. In the Denver metro area, the merger would create a single conglomerate in control of roughly half the market — yet some argue that it would create a monopoly among traditional grocers.
Despite the concerns, the grocery giants have insisted that the merger would not eliminate competition and would lower prices for consumers. They also argue it will help them counter growing rivals like Walmart, Costco and Amazon.
The opposition coalition said it has been diving into the merger proposal since its October announcement. They argue that the proposed merger is motivated by “corporate greed” led by executives “and the private equity firms that are significant owners of their stock.”
Colorado’s attorney general has expressed concern about the plan and said the state is looking into it. He has been hosting meetings around the state to get feedback about the merger plan.
“We’re committed to evaluating the practical consequences of this merger, looking at past mergers, looking at what this market is composed of,” Attorney General Phil Weiser said at a meeting last week.
If approved, the merger is expected to close in early 2024.