US sues to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons, saying it could push prices higher

Bodhisattva

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If politics are not part of the (dis)approval process (and it always is), it depends on how the market is defined. How do people shop for groceries? It will vary across locations. Where my family lives, while Publix is largest player and is located in the town center of my community, we also shop at Winn Dixie (on my way home from work), the nearby Costco, and a couple of Asian supermarkets for groceries that can't be found anywhere else. There's plenty of competition for our dollars.

The grocery store market is not like the credit card market, where there are a nearly-unlimited number of cards to chose from and new cards are regularly entering the market. (Capitol One didn't even exist 25 or 30 years ago.) Grocery stores are primarily brick and mortar, and while population centers do shift and expand, there are limitations on how many grocery stores an area can support. But, this market is not stagnant. Walmart didn't start selling groceries until relatively recently. Online shopping (Amazon, et. al.) is a relatively recent creation.

Without knowing all the details of the Kroger's and Albertson's footprints, it would seem where they overlap should get the most scrutiny. Where they do, there is likely to be less competition if this merger goes through. From my experience back in the day in mergers and acquisitions, these two may only be allowed to merge where they don't overlap in low competition markets.
 

Chukker Veteran

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Feb 6, 2001
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I'm conflicted about where to buy my groceries. My first choice locally would be Publix, but that's complicated because a primary Publix heir contributes to crazy rightwing causes. Plus their prices are always higher than other stores. I do like the half price sales they have each week. Since I'm retired I'll hit the half price sales at Publix then stop at WalMart to buy the rest of what I need.
I might save five or ten bucks making two stops...but it also gives me a sense of satisfaction for some crazy reason.
 

AWRTR

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Oct 18, 2022
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I'm conflicted about where to buy my groceries. My first choice locally would be Publix, but that's complicated because a primary Publix heir contributes to crazy rightwing causes. Plus their prices are always higher than other stores. I do like the half price sales they have each week. Since I'm retired I'll hit the half price sales at Publix then stop at WalMart to buy the rest of what I need.
I might save five or ten bucks making two stops...but it also gives me a sense of satisfaction for some crazy reason.
Sounds like me and Target. They can donate to whatever they want and stock whatever they want in their store it's a free country, but I can spend my money where I want to the same way.
 
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