Smith Food & Drug Centers, Inc. Settlement Agreement

Smiths Food & Drug Centers, Inc. exited California market and sought antitrust review of proposed sales of supermarket sites to other supermarket operators. The sale of 18 stores to various supermarket operators were approved. Smiths? agreed to obtain prior approval or provide prior notice of future sales of sites to supermarket operators for a period of 5 years.

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Save Mart Supermarkets Settlement Agreement

Acquisition of supermarkets

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California v. Safeway, et al. ,No. CV-04-0687-GHK

Challenge to a revenue sharing plan by four supermarket employers to share revenues based on fixed market share and fixed profit percentage during and after a labor dispute involving three of these employers.

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California, Nevada, New Mexico v. Albertson’s, Inc., and American Stores Company

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Plaintiff States sought to enjoin the merger between Albertson’s Inc. (Albertson’s) and American Stores Company (American Stores), alleging that the merger would substantially impair competition in the supermarket industry and could result in price increases and decreases in the quality and selection of food, groceries and
services.

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California v. Quality Food Centers, 98 CV 01101 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 19, 1998)

Challenge to proposed merger involving Ralphs Grocery Company (owning both Ralphs Markets and Food 4 Less markets) and Hughes Markets. Case settled by divestiture of 19 stores in 7 areas in southern California.

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Massachusetts et al. v. Koninklijke Ahold N.V., No. 1:16-cv-01412 (D.D.C., July 25, 2016)

Plaintiff states and FTC filed suit challenging the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, supermarket chains operating in the United States as Stop & Shop and Hannafords. According to the complaint, supermarkets operated by Ahold and Delhaize compete closely for shoppers based on price, format, service, product offerings, promotional activity, and location. Without a remedy, the merger would eliminate direct supermarket competition to the detriment of consumers in these local markets. As a result, the merger would increase the likelihood that the combined company could unilaterally exercise market power, and that the remaining competitors could coordinate their behavior to raise prices. the parties agreed to divest 76 supermarkets in the plaintiff states. The settlement also required prior notification of future supermarket purchases and $300,000 in attorneys fees and costs.

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Rodriquez, No. 02-2778 (D.P.R.) and Estado Libre Asociado v. Wal-Mart Puerto Rico, Inc., No. 02-2847 (P.R. Ct. First Instance) (Feb. 28, 2003)

Puerto Rico challenged acquisition by Wal-Mart of supermarket chain in Puerto Rico. After the enforcement action was enjoined by the U.S. District Court, Puerto Rico appealed. Twenty states filed an amicus brief supporting Puerto Rico’s ability to challenge the transaction regardless of the actions of the FTC. While the appeal was pending, the parties entered into a settlement under which Wal-Mart would divest four supermarkets.

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Massachusetts v. J. Sainsbury, PLC, No. 99-2574A (Mass. Super. Ct. Suffolk Cty. Nov. 16, 2000)

State challenged the acquisition by J. Sainsbury of Star Markets supermarkets in Massachusetts. Defendant was required to divest 9 supermarkets, keep operating two others until a competitor opens up, and provide notice of future acquisitions. Consent decree was later modified to require only 8 divestitures.

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In the Matter of Big Y Foods, No. 03-1983-E (Super. Ct. of Mass, Suffolk Cty. April 25, 2003)

State expressed concern about sale of supermarkets in Western Massachusetts to major competitor. Big Y agreed to use same pricing for new stores as it did for all stores in the area, agreed to use its best efforts to sell the supermarket sites for use as supermrkets.

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California ex. rel. Lockyer v. The Vons Companies, Inc. (C.D. Cal CV 05-8972 DSF January 03, 2006).

Vons allegedly monopolized the grocery store market for the City of Avalon on Santa Catalina Island, 26 miles from Los Angeles six years ago by accepting and later renewing a lease from Santa Catalina Island Company on a grocery store site when Vons owned and operated the only other grocery store in town. The Consent Decree required the divestiture of the lease to a new tenant and imposed ongoing obligations relating to both the store owned by Vons as well as the store leased by Vons from Santa Catalina Island Company.

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