Concern grows in Arizona over proposed Kroger-Albertson's merger
Members of Arizona’s congressional delegation are opposing a proposed merger of two large supermarket chains.
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego wrote a letter Wednesday to the head of the Federal Trade Commission saying if the plan were allowed to go through it could negatively impact food security, jobs and prices by reducing competition in Arizona’s grocery stores.
The $24.6 billion merger between Kroger, which owns Fry’s Food Stores, and Albertson’s, which also owns Safeway, has been the target of concern by several state officials including Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and Attorney General Kris Mayes.
They say underserved and lower income communities could be negatively affected by the deal as the new company would control almost a quarter of the grocery store market nationally.
Kroger and Albertson’s say the merger would benefit consumers and employees.
Officials are particularly concerned about the impacts on what are known as food deserts, or places where residents have limited access to healthy food because of geography or economic factors.
The Navajo Nation, for instance, has only 13 grocery stores throughout the 27,000-square-mile reservation.