Rep. Peltola urges FTC to block proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger

Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, said Tuesday that she is urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block the proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons grocery chains, as it would result in store closures and reduced competition from major competitors of grocery and household goods sales.

The $24.6 billion merger could be completed as early as January of 2023 unless the FTC takes action. The joint company would be a similar size to Walmart and Amazon, Peltola told FTC Commissioner Lina Khan.

“Alaska already has an incredibly concentrated grocery store market, and potential divestments of stores resulting from the merger would threaten both competition and basic food security in many communities across the state,” Peltola said in her letter to Khan.

“The five largest jurisdictions by population in Alaska are Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Kenai-Soldotna,” Peltola continued. “In each of these communities, Fred Meyer (Kroger) and Carrs (Albertsons) are the primary competitors selling groceries and household goods. If the proposed merger goes through, store closures and reduced competition could result in a significantly reduced competition, or even a near-monopolistic landscape in a state that already has some of the highest costs of living in the United States.”

Joelle Hall, president of the Alaska chapter of The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), said the merger would hurt all Alaskans, but especially workers at potentially impacted stores.

“A successful mega-merger would likely lead to store closures and hundreds – possibly thousands – of lost jobs, many of which come with family-sustaining wages, top of the line health insurance, and a pension,” Hall said.


The Alaska AFL-CIO also passed a resolution which was forwarded to Alaska’s congressional delegation, noting that access to healthy food is a significant problem in Alaska and that 80,740 residents experienced food insecurity in 2020.

Acquisitions and mergers in the grocery industry have become more prevalent and consolidation worsens competition, resulting in store closures, loss of union jobs, diminished wages and benefits, weakened bargaining power, layoffs and higher prices, the resolution said. Also cited in the resolution were findings from the Economic Policy Institute, which found that the merger would permanently reduce wages of 776,000 grocery store workers nationwide by $334 million.