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Kroger-Albertsons merger: State of play

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Jan 24, 2024
Data: Axios; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Axios; Chart: Axios Visuals

Last updated Jan. 22, 2024

Kroger's proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons may not close until February, or potentially August, amid scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission and various states.

Driving the news: Washington state's attorney general sued to block the merger on Jan.16, stating the move would limit competition and drive up consumer prices. A U.S. judge in December dismissed a consumer lawsuit claiming a similar sentiment.

Catch up quick: Other Kroger-Albertsons deal updates include:

  • Kroger announced in October 2022 it would buy Albertsons in a deal that would combine the second and fourth largest U.S. food retailers.
  • The CEOs of Kroger and Albertsons defended the merger to lawmakers at a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee meeting in November 2022.
  • Albertsons $4 billion dividend to its shareholders was delayed into early 2023 after multiple states' attorneys general filed a lawsuit to block the payment.
  • The FTC kept a close eye on Kroger and Albertsons divestitures in August 2023, not wanting a repeat of Albertsons 2014 sale of stores to Haggen.
  • Kroger and Albertsons in September divested select stores, banners, distribution centers, offices and private labels to C&S Wholesale for $1.9 billion in an effort to gain regulatory approval.
  • California's attorney general revealed plans in October 2023 to potentially sue to block Kroger from buying Albertsons after meeting with FTC Chair Lina Khan.

Zoom in: Axios' Richard Collings and Erin Davis charted the markets that would be most affected by the merger of the two grocery retailers.

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