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Albertsons, Safeway agree to divest 168 stores to win antitrust approval

WASHINGTON — Supermarket chains Albertsons and Safeway agreed to sell 168 stores in eight states to win U.S. antitrust approval for their $9.2 billion merger, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

Albertsons, which has 630 supermarkets under various brand names, and Safeway, which has 1,332 stores, will divest stores in Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming, the FTC said.

Albertsons is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. The transaction was announced in March.

The divested stores will be purchased by Haggen Holdings LLC, Supervalu Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. and Associated Food Stores Inc.

In Las Vegas, Haggen will buy four Vons and two Albertsons.

“Absent a remedy, this acquisition would likely lead to higher prices and lower quality for supermarket shoppers in 130 communities,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. “This settlement will ensure that consumers in those communities continue to benefit from competition among their local supermarkets.”

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