FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Supermarket Competition in Two Texas Cities

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that AB Acquisition, LLC’s purchase of United Supermarkets L.L.C. would be anticompetitive in two local areas of Texas. AB Acquisition LLC is the parent company of Albertson’s LLC, which operates 606 grocery stores nationwide, primarily in the southern and western United States, including 72 under the Albertson’s banner in Texas.

According to the FTC’s complaint, first announced in December 2013, the proposed acquisition would likely reduce supermarket competition in Amarillo and Wichita Falls, Texas, and may harm consumers through higher prices, lower quality, and reduced service levels. Under the FTC’s order settling the charges, AB Acquisition LLC was required to sell its stores in Amarillo and Wichita Falls, to MAL Enterprises, Inc., which operates under the Lawrence Brothers IGA, Cash Saver and Save-A-Lot supermarket banners.  The agency did not receive any comments regarding its proposed order during the public comment period.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC File No. 131-0227; the staff contact is Alexis Gilman, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2579)

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 [email protected], or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. 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.

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