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FTC files lawsuit against grocery merger

Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit that seeks to block a proposed merger of the Kroger and Albertsons supermarket chains.

Attorneys for the agency filed the suit Feb. 26, a move that was joined by eight states and the District of Columbia, according to multiple reports.

The two grocers – among the largest in the United States – announced their planned merger in the fall of 2022, saying it would give them a better chance to compete against the likes of Walmart, Amazon and Costco.

But the trade commission, an independent agency of the U.S. government that is responsible for protecting consumers, said a Kroger-Albertsons merger would raise prices and reduce competition for workers, among other negatives.

“Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons would lead to additional grocery price hikes for everyday goods, further exacerbating the financial strain consumers across the country face today,” Henry Liu,  director of the commission’s bureau of competition, said in a statement.

Both companies said they will challenge the lawsuit.

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