Court Date for Kroger-Albertsons Merger Set for August

U.S. District Judge in Oregon will oversee the case brought on by FTC
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Kroger-Albertsons Merger
A hearing in the FTC's case against the merger of Albertsons and Kroger is set for Aug. 26.

A hearing date of Aug. 26 has been set by Judge Adrienne Nelson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon regarding the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction against the proposed merger of The Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. As part of the March 11 announcement, Judge Nelson said both sides must file a proposed briefing schedule by March 15.

The August hearing date will come exactly six months after the FTC filed suit to halt the $24.6 billion merger and divestiture proposal with C&S Wholesale Grocers, stating that the move "falls far short of mitigating the lost competition between Kroger and Albertsons" and would increase grocery prices for millions of Americans. 

During Kroger’s Q4 and fiscal year 2023 earnings call on March 7, CEO Rodney McMullen said the company is “committed to defending the merger and litigation, because we believe this is the best outcome for America's families.” McMullen also noted that the merger can't close while these actions are pending. 

"While we were disappointed about the FTC's recent attempt to challenge our merger, we were not surprised, given the current political environment," he said. "Our track record in previous mergers is clear: Kroger lowered prices, invested in associates, improved the customer experience and deepened its connections with the communities we serve."

Nearly half a million associates of Cincinnati-based Kroger serve more than 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Boise, Idaho based Albertsons operates 2,200-plus retail food and drug stores with 1,726 pharmacies, 401 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities. It's No. 9 on The PG 100. Keene, N.H.-based C&S services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 7,500 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with 100,000-plus products, in addition to operating corporate stores. The company is No. 17 on The PG 100.

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