HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) – Koninklijke Ahold N.V,
the owner of Giant-Carlisle and Martin's supermarkets, and Delhaize Group
NV/SA, the owner of Food Lion supermarkets, have agreed to settle a case
involving competition concerns related to their $28 billion proposed merger.
The retailers are the parent companies of many supermarket
chains in the United States and Europe. In June 2015, Ahold announced it would
merge with Delhaize. Following this move, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office, along with others, filed a lawsuit and
proposed consent judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia. Joining Pennsylvania in the lawsuit were the Federal Trade Commission
and Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and West Virginia. The lawsuit
claimed the merger would be anti-competitive.
To settle the case and move forward with the merger, the
companies agreed to divest 76 supermarket stores nationwide.
"The sale of these stores will not only preserve the
competition necessary to keep prices low, but it will also provide an excellent
alternative for consumers," Kane said.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Jennifer
Kirk and Deputy Attorney General Aaron Schwartz of the Office of Attorney
General’s Antitrust Section handled the case.