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Kroger’s/Albertsons Deal Moves Ahead

FTC filing could lead to antitrust decision by Dec. 15

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Albertsons has more than 2200 stores, while Kroger operates just over 2700. Photo: Colleen Michaels/iStock.com

Kroger (Cincinnati) disclosed it has achieved “certified substantial compliance” with the Federal Trade Commission as of Nov. 15 for its proposed acquisition of Albertsons (Boise, Idaho), The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The move could prompt a decision by Dec. 15 by the antitrust regulator on whether to approve or fight the $25 billion deal.

“We continue to work cooperatively with the FTC in its review of the transaction,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen told Wall Street analysts on a conference call. “This step keeps us on track to close our proposed merger with Albertsons in early 2024.”

Under The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976, there’s a 30-day waiting period for some large mergers and acquisitions after a premerger notification is filed with regulators. If regulators take no action, then the companies can complete their deal.

But if the regulatory agency conducting the antitrust review decides it needs more information, it sends the merging parties a “second request” for that data. Such a move stops the clock for any regulatory deadlines to decide whether to approve or fight a proposed merger, the Enquirer reports.

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