Merger of grocery titans: Cause of concern or a boon for consumers?

Colorado attorney general to launch investigation into deal between Kroger and Albertsons — parent companies of King Soopers and Safeway, respectively

Megan Ulu-Lani Boyanton
The Denver Post
The exterior of City Market in Dillon as pictured on Wednesday, Jan.30, 2020. Kroger operates 148 stores — including King Soopers and City Market locations — with around 22,000 employees in Colorado.
Sawyer D’Argonne /

The proposed $25 billion merger between Kroger — the parent company of Colorado’s largest retail grocery chain, King Soopers — and Albertsons, which operates Safeway, is raising questions about whether the state’s shoppers will ultimately benefit.

Government officials, academics and union representatives fear a future with climbing costs, more food deserts throughout the state and farmers receiving unfair prices. But others aren’t worried yet about the impact of the deal approved by the boards of both companies, which is expected to close in early 2024.

It comes at a time when consumers are balancing holiday shopping with inflation, while American businesses are struggling to fill worker vacancies — all while a recession looms. The “food at home” consumer price index – grocery prices – rose 12.4% in October compared to the same period in 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

A “deeply concerned” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is in the process of launching an investigation into the merger. His office is putting together a team to evaluate whether it will hurt consumers, workers and industry competition.

With no set time frame in place, the team plans to interview experts and industry observers, reach out to consumers and more. “All that will help us come to a conclusion: Is this merger illegal?” Weiser said.


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