Far-left Democrat New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is trying her hand at attempting to mess up a merger between Albertsons and Kroger grocery stores.
Toulouse Oliver recently added her signature to a letter co-signed by six other secretaries of state, rejecting the $24.6 billion merger — a direct attack on the free market.
Addressed to the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, the joint letter conveys the concerns of Toulouse Oliver and her leftist counterparts from Colorado, Rhode Island, Arizona, Maine, Vermont, and Minnesota. Their primary contention is that the merger would curtail consumer choice, potentially eliminating the competitive drive to lower prices and leaving consumers powerless to ensure that the companies maintain their promises of affordable prices. Moreover, they argue that the consolidation could adversely affect local farmers, small businesses, and suppliers dependent on a competitive grocery market.
The letter highlights potential repercussions: “If the merger goes through, the lack of competition gives Kroger-Albertsons substantial power to dictate prices that harm growers and shippers who will be forced to cut wages for their own workers.”
However, Kroger’s perspective on the matter contradicts the officials’ bloviated concerns. A spokesperson for Kroger conveyed that the opposite is likely to occur if the merger progresses. They contend that prices would decrease, consumer choice would expand, and wages would increase as a result of the merger. The spokesperson also criticized the opposition, suggesting that the real beneficiaries of preventing the merger’s completion would be large, non-unionized competitors like Walmart and Amazon. Kroger assured that the merger would not lead to layoffs or closures of stores, distribution centers, or manufacturing facilities.
Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Albertsons, unfortunately, remained inaccessible for direct comment on their stance regarding the merger.
Currently, Kroger operates 24 locations in New Mexico, including 14 in Albuquerque, all operating under the Smith’s brand. The company is a significant employer in the state, with over 2,500 employees. Similarly, Albertsons has a substantial presence in New Mexico, boasting over two dozen Albertsons Market and Albertsons stores.
While the concerns expressed by Toulouse Oliver and the other secretaries of state may reflect their commitment to preserving competitive markets, it’s crucial to critically examine the potential influence of ideology on such decisions. Toulouse Oliver’s far-left, anti-capitalist perspective might inadvertently obstruct free-market dynamics, raising questions about the balance between consumer protection and fostering market competition.