Biden administration sues to block Kroger-Albertsons supermarket merger

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The Biden administration is suing to block a proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons supermarket chains, saying the deal would lead to higher food prices for consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission announced the suit in a release Monday on its website.

“The FTC charges that the proposed deal will eliminate fierce competition between Kroger and Albertsons, leading to higher prices for groceries and other essential household items for millions of Americans,” it said. “The loss of competition will also lead to lower quality products and services, while also narrowing consumers’ choices for where to shop for groceries.”

Americans have seen food-at-home prices climb more than 20% since the beginning of the pandemic, though more recently those cost pressures have eased. The USDA reported that U.S. consumers spent an average of 11.3% of their disposable personal income on food in 2022 — reaching levels similar to the 1980s, though much of this increase was attributable to large gains in food consumed away from home.