PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes announced that the Arizona Attorney General’s Office is launching an anti-trust investigation of the proposed merger between The Kroger Co., parent company of Smith's and Fry’s Food & Drug Stores, and Albertsons Companies, which operates supermarkets under the Albertsons and Safeway brands in Arizona.
“Hardworking Arizonans struggle daily to put fresh, healthy food on the table for their families and have already suffered through devastating price increases over the past year," said Attorney General Kris Mayes. "In addition to skyrocketing prices, the proposed merger raises questions about the potential for store closures that could force consumers to travel farther for groceries – possibly creating food deserts that disproportionately affect minority communities.”
The merger could have an especially large impact within Arizona, where Kroger and Albertsons currently operate more than 250 stores combined, employ over 35,000 Arizona workers, and account for almost half of Arizona’s grocery market sales.
"Thousands of employees will also wonder whether their jobs will still exist if the merger is finalized. And even if they remain employed, workers may have to worry whether their wages or benefits will decrease," continued Attorney General Mayes. "Farmers and ranchers also fear that a consolidated supermarket giant might wield unfair buying power that would force them out of business in favor of corporate producers. I will fight to ensure that Arizona consumers, workers, and local grocery producers are not harmed."
Attorney General Mayes will also hold a series of listening sessions in the coming weeks across Arizona to hear directly from families and workers in communities that could be particularly impacted by the proposed merger.
Albertson’s and Kroger announced their proposed merger on October 14, 2022. The companies stated that they anticipate closing the $24.6 billion deal by early 2024.