Locke Lord Partners Randy Hack and Brad Weber Quoted by The National Law Journal on FTC’s Lawsuit to Block Kroger-Albertsons Merger

The National Law Journal
February 29, 2024

Co-Chairs of Locke Lord’s Antitrust Practice Group Randy Hack and Brad Weber were quoted by the National Law Journal on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) lawsuit to block the proposed supermarket merger of Kroger and Albertsons. Hack and Weber note the lawsuit implements the FTC’s recent approach on labor markets and merger impact on workers, which remains consistent with the agency’s new merger guidelines.

“This is the first big merger that I’m aware of where there’s such a big emphasis on not only the effect on consumers but also workers,” Weber said.

Weber explains that one of the things the court will look at in this case is how this merger will affect competition in the “relevant geographic market.”

“Consumers are probably not going to drive farther than three to five miles to buy groceries,” Weber notes. “When this case gets to trial in front of an administrative judge, they’re going to be looking at competition, at least on the consumer side, in these small geographic areas.”

“Antitrust cases are typically decided on “big macro markets,” but this is not one of them,” Hack adds. “[This] case is similar to hospital mergers, where the agency states that patients are only willing to drive so far.”