California State Attorney General Rob Bonta says he’s considering a lawsuit, citing the following concerns: higher prices for consumers, lower payments to California farmers, the possibility of food and pharmacy deserts, and the impact on grocery workers.
Earlier in the week, the state of California passed some measures aimed at protecting workers from mergers.
One requires grocery stores and pharmacies to notify the state attorney general 180 days before a merger kicks in and to provide details of the impact.
The other bill adds some bulk to California’s Grocery Worker Retention law by expanding the 90-day retention to include warehouse workers. Grocers also now have 33 days to resolve any conflict with a worker before they can sue.
However, California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have provided one week of severance pay for every year they were employed by the retailer upon termination.
Bonta said he has met with Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan about the merger and has discussed his concerns.
Kroger and Albertsons insist food prices would not rise if the merger happens and that jobs are not at risk.