Arlington, VA — The American Consumer Institute (ACI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to safeguarding consumer interests, is publicly endorsing the proposed merger between Albertson’s and Kroger. In a letter addressed to Chair Khan, Commissioner Slaughter, and Commissioner Bedoya of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), ACI’s Vice President of Policy and Research, Tirzah Duren, outlines compelling reasons supporting the approval of the merger.

Key Points:

  1. Market Dynamics: Despite the merger’s substantial $24.6 billion valuation, ACI contends that concerns about monopolistic implications are unwarranted. While varying in reports, the estimated market share would still be smaller than major competitors like Walmart, especially considering the divestment of over 400 stores.
  2. Employee Protections: ACI addresses apprehensions about potential negative impacts on employees by highlighting commitments from Albertson’s and Kroger. Both companies have pledged not to close stores, committed to investing $1 billion in worker benefits, and proposed allocating $500 million towards lower prices. ACI emphasizes that these commitments exceed estimates, suggesting potential worker losses of over $300 million.
  3. Unionization Rates: ACI points out the high unionization rates among employees at Albertson’s and Kroger, particularly with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). The merger would protect this representation and declining market share, thereby safeguarding employees, and mitigating concerns about the merger jeopardizing jobs.

ACI urges the FTC to consider the combined benefits of employee protections, the relatively small resulting market share, and potential advantages for consumers in allowing the merger to proceed.

For more details, please refer to the official letter from Tirzah Duren, Vice President of Policy and Research, on ACI’s website.