NGA Approves of House Hearing’s Bipartisan Approach to Grocery Competition

Republican and Democratic representatives agree that indies would benefit from antitrust measures
House Judiciary Committee Main Image
Representatives on both sides of the aisle expressed support for independents during a July 13 House Judiciary Committee hearing.

The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent sector of the food distribution industry, cheered the bipartisan discussion on competition policy and the bottom-line effect on U.S. independent grocers at a July 13 House Judiciary Committee hearing.

The substantive exchange of views between Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Thomas Massie, R-Ky., took place amid Federal Trade Commissioner Chair Lina Khan’s testimony at the oversight hearing. Lofgren urged Khan to use the Robinson-Patman Act to check exponential consolidation and buyer-power abuses in the marketplace. Massie, chairman of the Antitrust Subcommittee, noted: “My constituents aren’t contacting me worried about mergers between tech companies. But one thing I’ve been contacted about multiple times is the small independent grocers feel like there are monopolistic practices being used against them.” He then showed Khan a letter he wrote with Antitrust Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., requesting that the FTC hold a closed-door briefing on its investigation into grocery practices.

“It’s encouraging to know that key members of Congress are asking the right questions,” said Chris Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel at Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “We hope that they, and the FTC, will follow through with action, bolstering and updating the nation’s antitrust laws for the 21st century.”

The NGA has long supported enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act to help level the playing field for smaller grocers competing against major industry players. 

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