flurry of lawsuits regarding the potential Kroger-Albertsons merger, culminating in a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission, has brought the issue of grocery store consolidation into the spotlight. While keeping access to groceries is essential for consumer welfare, that doesn’t mean taking an anti-merger stance. Changes in the grocery marketplace have meant that size benefits consumers and is necessary for competition.

Following the proposed merger, the newly combined Kroger-Albertsons would still be smaller than Walmart. However, the merger would allow Kroger to compete more effectively.

For some time, the U.S. grocery market has been moving away from regional grocery stores and toward larger supermarkets. Today, the market is much bigger and broader than in the past, with wholesale clubs and online services challenging regional stores for market share.

A successful merger would make Kroger-Albertsons the nation’s third-largest grocer, with 9 percent of nationwide sales. Walmart would remain the dominant industry player. In other words, allowing the merger to proceed would create more robust competition for stores like Walmart, not less.

The best way to enhance competition is to allow companies to compete without government interference. The Kroger-Albertsons merger presents an opportunity to achieve that because it will benefit consumers with lower prices and more product offerings.

Read the full Inside Sources article here.

Trey Price is a policy analyst with the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit us at www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org or follow us on X @ConsumerPal.