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Reuters reports that despite the bidding war for Safeway Plc that seems to be developing in the UK, it is unlike that the same sort of scenario will occur in the US, for a number of reasons:

  • Declining or stagnant sales and profits have made cost cutting the number one priority, not expansion.

  • Antitrust regulations in the US would be likely to prevent aggressive acquisition strategies.

The one exception,Reuters suggests, might be Albertsons, which hired a former head of US Bancorp Piper Jaffray's consumer mergers and acquisition group to take on a new role as its head of corporate strategy and business development. This could put Albertsons in the position to be ready to move fast if the right opportunity came along.
KC's View:
Wal-Mart, of course, pretty much avoids antitrust examination by simply building new stores and formats rather than acquiring things in the US.