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Delaware joins six other states asking FTC to oppose proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons.

Delaware Public Media

Delaware is among seven states calling for the Federal Trade Commission to oppose a proposed merger between two major grocery chains.

State Treasurer Colleen Davis joined six of her colleagues in a letter to the FTC opposing the merger between Kroger and Albertsons.

Davis calls the proposed merger a significant threat to the well-being of Delawareans.

She says the merger could have negative impacts particularly in underserved communities.

"My greatest concern is really it comes down to access to groceries, right. Really it's fresh and affordable groceries,” said Davis. “We have several pockets in Delaware that will be impacted by potential closures, and so that's kind of my greatest concern."

Davis, it’s critical to maintain a diverse range of grocery options especially for those relying on the stores for daily needs.

Davis adds this merger would hurt Delaware workers’ ability to organize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions.

"That's a big part of the economic impact, right. So, when we start to lower wages for individuals it means that there's less money going back into our community. It's a matter of stability in the face of some of the inflationary pressures that everyone is feeling," said Davis.

Albertsons currently operates 18 stores in Delaware, 15 under the Acme name and 3 Safeway stores, while Kroger owns two Harris Teeter locations here.

The FTC is currently reviewing the deal, considering its potential impact on competition and consumers, and Davis also worries about the potential impact on those who work at the stores.

That’s because in many cases mergers bring about job cuts and layoffs to save on costs.

A study from the Economic Policy Institute found that this merger could result in a total loss of $334 million in wages for over 746,000 grocery store workers in more than 50 metropolitan areas which translates to an average annual wage decrease of about $450 per worker.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.