Shruti Gurudanti, Rose Law Group partner and director of corporate transactions, featured in Axios report on the Kroger-Albertsons merger

By Axios

A planned merger between Kroger and Albertsons would consolidate two of the biggest companies in the Valley’s grocery store market.

Yes, but: It’s unclear exactly what a merger would mean for Arizona shoppers.

Driving the news: Kroger, which owns Fry’s Food Stores, and Albertsons, which owns Safeway, announced on Oct. 14 that they planned to merge, Axios’ Nathan Bomey reported.

Why it’s important: If federal officials don’t block the merger, it would consolidate two of the most dominant grocery store chains in Arizona, which account for more than 40% of the market in the Valley and more than 44% statewide.

What they’re saying: “I think the bottom line is, is it going to drive down costs for your grocery bill and my grocery bill? … I think it would because of all of the efficiencies it’s going to create,” says Shruti Gurudanti, an attorney at Rose Law Group.

Yes, but: Gurudanti says she has some concerns that the merger could lead to job losses.

The companies said they’re willing to divest up to 650 stores nationwide and could spin off 100-375 stores in a new entity.
The other side: Charles Berry, an attorney with the Scottsdale office of the law firm Clark Hill, tells Axios that he has concerns.

Berry says the market benefits from competition, which would be reduced if two companies with such a dominant combined market share merged.
What’s next: The Federal Trade Commission could block the merger, which U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are urging.

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