NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Democratic officials from a handful of states including New Mexico are condemning a merger between Kroger and Albertsons. The grocery giants entered into the $25B deal last year for Kroger, which owns Smith’s stores in New Mexico, to buy rival Albertsons. The deal is now up for review before the Federal Trade Commission.
New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is one of seven secretaries of state who signed a letter calling on the FTC to block the merger. They argue the new, bigger chain would control a quarter of the United States market limiting competition and giving the company no incentive to keep prices low.
They said the monopoly would also hurt workers, suppliers, and farmers and that the company could decide to close hundreds of stores in areas where Kroger and Albertsons overlap especially in low-income communities. The companies argue the deal will actually lower prices and make them more competitive with mega-retailers like Walmart and Amazon.