Bloomberg reports that the US Senate already is planning hearings into the Kroger-Albertsons merger deal, probably as soon as next month.
From the story:
"Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Utah Senator Mike Lee, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary antitrust panel, expressed 'serious concerns about the proposed transaction' Tuesday and said the committee would host a November hearing on the deal.
"Separately, in a joint letter to the US Federal Trade Commission, Klobuchar and two other Senate Democrats also asked the agency to closely scrutinize the deal, saying it 'raises considerable antitrust concerns.'
"'The grocery industry is essential to daily life, and Americans need the benefits that robust competition bring,' they wrote."
The lawmakers are reacting to the proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons by Kroger, which was announced last Friday. The deal would combine the assets of Kroger, the nation's second-ranked grocery retailer, with a 9.9 percent market share, and Albertsons, the nation's number four grocery seller with a 5.7 percent market share. Combined, the new company would have a 15.5 percent market share, second to Walmart's 20.9 percent of national grocery market share. (Costco would remain in third place.)
- KC's View:
Just the beginning.
Lawyers are going to get rich.
Lobbyists are going to get rich.
Shareholders are going to make a lot of money.
But consumers … well, I think that remains to be seen.