A massive merger of grocery store chains that included many locations in Illinois is now on immediate hold thanks to concern from government regulators.

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This deal if it still happens is huge. 413 grocery stores merging in a deal announced recently by Kroger and Albertsons. Many of those Kroger stores especially are located in Illinois and would be directly affected by the merger. Now, that deal is on indefinite hold.

Supermarket News now says that the Federal Trade Commission now says "wait". Part of this holdup includes a lawsuit in Washington state by the attorney general there contending that the merger would leave shoppers "less options".

There's also concern among many state attorney generals and regulators that the Kroger/Albertsons merger would cause already high food prices to rise. Both companies say that will not be the case. They plan to discuss how the merger would benefit consumers in the long run according to the report.

The story from Supermarket News said Kroger specifically plans to invest"$500 million to reduce prices beginning day one of the merger". Both companies also acknowledged that they are not surprised with the delay and meetings with regulators, but still expect the sale to eventually be approved.

There's no estimate on when the Federal Trade Commission will decide if the merger will be allowed to be completed. The merger originally was expected to be final early in 2024 and now it looks like summer 2024 at the earliest.

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