FTC Issues Final Order Preserving Supermarket Competition in 130 Local Markets

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the $9.2 billion merger of supermarket operators Albertsons and Safeway Inc. would be anticompetitive.

According to the FTC’s complaint, first announced in January 2015, Albertsons and Safeway grocery stores competed vigorously on price, quality, product variety, and services, and each offered consumers the convenience of one-stop shopping for food and other grocery products. Without a remedy, the acquisition was likely to lessen supermarket competition in 130 local markets and thus harm consumers, according to the FTC.

The final order requires the new company to divest 168 Albertsons and Safeway stores in Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming to four buyers.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 141 0108; Staff contacts: Alexis Gilman, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2579 and Dan Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust@ftc.gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.