W.Va, other states reach agreement in grocery store merger

By Chris Dickerson | Jul 28, 2016

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and five other states have reached an agreement pertaining to the impending merger of two corporations that individually operate competing grocery store chains – Martin’s and Food Lion – in the state’s eastern Panhandle.

The agreement requires the newly merged entity sell two of its Martinsburg area Food Lion supermarkets. SUPERVALU has announced it will purchase those stores, along with two additional locations, and operate each as Shop ‘N Save.

“This settlement is good news for consumers,” Morrisey said in a statement. “It advances competition in the grocery store business and provides consumers with additional choices.”

The settlement follows a broad review by the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office, other states and the Federal Trade Commission. It found the merger of parent companies Koninklijke Ahold N.V. and Delhaize Group NV/SA would have anticompetitive effects in 41 markets, including the eastern Panhandle.

The nationwide agreement requires 76 stores in the eastern United States to be divested to a number of buyers.

The state attorneys general filed their complaint and proposed consent judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The proposal, if approved, will reimburse West Virginia for fees and costs associated with the investigation.

Ahold’s principal U.S. subsidiary, Ahold U.S.A., Inc., is headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts. Delhaize’s principal U.S. subsidiary, Delhaize America, LLC, is headquartered in Salisbury, North Carolina.

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