Colorado AG to lead a multi-state investigation of proposed Kroger/Albertsons merger
On Thursday November 8, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser pushed for a Washington State court judge to block Albertsons’ $4 billion payout to its investors while the company’s merger with Kroger is under review.
Weiser’s office is leading a multi-state investigation of the proposed grocery chain merger.
Kroger announced its plans to acquire Albertsons for almost $25 billion in mid-October.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Weiser said the merger, if approved, could result in higher prices for Colorado consumers, lower wages for workers, fewer jobs, and negatively impact farmers and those in rural communities like Cortez and the Four Corners region.
“It is not plausible to tell someone in Cortez, ‘Oh, you could drive to Grand Junction for an alternative supermarket.’ That's just not plausible,” said Weiser.
“And we are very mindful of those concerns. And we are going to be making sure to hear directly from those who will be affected by this merger.”
If the merger were to take place, two of the three grocery stores in Cortez, Safeway, which is owned by Albertsons, and City Market, which is owned by Kroger, would be part of the same company.
“Now, this merger, because of the market shares, has the real prospect of adversely affecting rural, urban, including food deserts, which can be in rural or urban areas,” said Weiser.
“So we're really concerned in both contexts, what will happen, what will be the consequences, and how do we make sure to protect all communities in Colorado.”
Weiser also said he plans to go on a statewide tour of Colorado in order to hear directly from consumers on this issue.
Public comments can be submitted to the Attorney General's office through the website stopfraudcolorado.gov.
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