Oct 13, 2023 - Economy

California may sue to block Kroger from buying Albertsons

Illustration of an Albertsons' grocery bag inside of a Kroger's bag.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

California may sue to block Kroger's proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons, which would merge two of the country's largest grocery chains, according to comments from state Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Why it matters: Bonta revealed his plans shortly after a meeting with FTC Chair Lina Khan, suggesting that he's working in concert with federal antitrust regulators.

  • Also notable that it comes on the same day that Microsoft got U.K. government signoff for its $69 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard, which this morning allowed the deal to close over Khan's continued objections.

By the numbers: The news didn't have too much of an impact on either company's stock price. Since the merger was announced one year ago, Kroger shares are up 2.5% and Albertsons shares are down 13.3 percent.

More, per Bloomberg: "The state could challenge the merger on its own, or it could partner with the FTC and other states on a lawsuit. California, which has the largest antitrust staff of any in the country, has filed its own merger challenges when federal enforcers have declined, notably joining with other states in an unsuccessful effort to block T-Mobile US' purchase of provider Sprint in 2020."

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