Senate Judiciary subcommittee holds Albertsons-Kroger merger hearing
|The Senate Judiciary Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights Subcommittee held a hearing Tuesday on the proposed merger between the Albertsons and Kroger grocery stores.|
Albertsons and Kroger executives defended the merger.
|Fresh Encounter CEO Michael Needler Jr., a third-generation independent grocer who operates nearly 100 grocery stores in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Florida under the name Fresh Encounter, testified on behalf of the National Grocers Association.|
Needler said, “Our view is this: America’s grocery sector is getting less competitive from increasing concentration and unchecked buyer power due to a lack of enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act.
“Let me clear: We are agnostic on this transaction. We are not afraid to compete against anyone, no matter how big. What we oppose is the lack of constraints on buyer power which thwarts our ability to compete in the first place.”
In a news release, NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara added, “In addition to enforcing the Robinson-Patman Act, we strongly urge policymakers on Capitol Hill and at the FTC to rigorously examine the proposed divestitures of this merger to preserve competition in local marketplaces.”