Cohen Wants Antitrust Investigation of Kroger’s

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen asked the U.S. Justice Department Thursday to look into the antitrust implications of the sale of Schnucks stores to Kroger and “whether it will negatively affect competition,” reports the Commercial Appeal.
The Memphis Democrat wrote to Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, first describing the longtime Memphis institution Seessel’s, whose stores were bought out by Schnucks in 2002.
In the letter, Cohen said Kroger plans to convert eight Schnucks stores into Kroger stores with five Schnucks and Kroger stores closing, giving Kroger 43 stores in the region “with no comparable competitor.”
Most of the Schnucks stores will close on Saturday, with the remaining stores closing within 30 days, erasing the St. Louis-based Schnucks brand from the Mid-South region. Kroger, based in Cincinnati, is buying nine Schnucks stores and closing one. Schnucks also is closing three stores that were not part of the sale. In addition, Kroger plans to close two of its smaller stores.

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