retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters has a story about how Kroger's current questions about the feasibility of acquiring stores being divested because of the Walgreens Boots Alliance purchase of Rite Aid is casting "uncertainty on the future of the $9.4 billion Walgreens-Rite Aid deal, which need approval from antitrust authorities, who have pushed back against a number of large deals this year."

According to the story, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has informed Kroger that "it would not have the option to close and integrate Rite Aid stores that are near Kroger locations."

The Reuters piece goes on to say that "to be sure, it remains possible that other buyers, such as private equity firms, may step in to buy the stores if Kroger opts not to pursue a deal. It is not clear, however, whether another supermarket operator will step in, said David Balto, an antitrust attorney."
KC's View:
Not being an antitrust attorney, I'm not precisely sure how the issues will be evaluated by the feds. But I continue to believe that any consideration of competitive issues has to include the fact that e-commerce changes the landscape and realities. You can't use 20th century rules to make 21st century decisions.