LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A Nevada lawmaker is trying to stop a massive grocery store merger. Kroger, which owns Smith’s, is looking to merge with Albertsons, which also owns Vons.
The two nation’s largest grocery chains want to unite in a nearly $25 billion deal but need approval from federal regulators. FOX5 spoke with Senator Jacky Rosen Thursday on how and why she is trying to kill the deal.
Rosen sent this letter to the FTC on Tuesday asking them to block the Kroger / Albertsons deal. Rosen claims if the merger happens, it will hurt Nevada more than other states.
“The number one thing everybody worries about most is their monthly bills,” Rosen told FOX5 that is what she routinely hears from Nevada families. Rosen argues a merger of two of the state’s largest grocery store chains would hurt everyday Nevadans.
“Between those two grocery store chains, they own I believe 80 stores all across Nevada. Why does that matter? Well, when you decrease competition, you may decrease supply, you could even consolidate stores and what would that mean? Higher prices for Nevada families when it comes to the food on their table,” Rosen contended. Rosen says that in direct opposition with her goal to fight inflation and lower prices.
“These are multibillion dollar corporations, they are already making plenty of money and so if they consolidate…in some places they may decide.”
‘Well do we need two stores in a place like Elko or Ely? Maybe we will go down to one store,’” Rosen predicted.
An Albertsons spokesperson sent FOX5 this response:
“Albertsons Cos. merging with Kroger will expand competition, lower prices, protect union jobs, and enhance customers’ shopping experience. The only parties that would benefit if this deal is blocked would be Amazon, Walmart, and other large, non-union retailers who continue to increase their dominance in the grocery space. A combined Kroger and Albertsons Cos. would ensure that our neighborhood supermarkets, some of which have been serving their communities for over 100 years, can better compete with these retailing giants.”
Earlier this year, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union which represents about 350,000 workers at the two grocery chains said it opposed the deal. The deal is targeted to close early next year.
Rosen also recently wrote another letter to FTC requesting a merger of oil companies be blocked in order to keep gas prices down. The FTC is now looking into that Exxon Mobil deal.
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