Kroger and Albertsons say they need to merge to compete with Walmart. Claire Kelloway argues that what they really want is Walmart’s monopsony power, and permitting mergers on these grounds will only harm suppliers, workers, and consumers.
In new research, Sabien Dobbelaere, Grace McCormack, Daniel Prinz, and Sándor Sóvágó find that mergers negatively impact labor market outcomes. Mergers result in job losses, and the earnings of workers who lose their jobs don’t recover for several years on average. The authors find these negative consequences are more likely attributable to the restructuring of labor forces than subsequent firm market power.
Do labor markets in Europe or the United States and Canada experience more monopsony power? In a new paper published in the University of Chicago Law Review, Satoshi Araki, Andrea Bassanini, Andrew Green, Luca Marcolin, and Cristina Volpin provide comparisons of monopsony power between the two regions, documenting similar levels of concentration across labor markets despite generally stronger protections in Europe. They also discuss the effects of such concentration on employment and wages, ending with potential regulatory reforms to address these issues.
Much of the conversation of the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger has focused on the risks to consumers. However, the merger also poses serious implications for the grocers’ upstream suppliers, particularly smaller regional firms.
Due to a change in how the FDIC resolves failed banks, uninsured deposits have become de facto insured. Not only is this dangerous for risk in the banking system, it is not what Congress intends the FDIC to do, writes Michael Ohlrogge.
Former special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy Tim Wu responds to the November 27 letter signed by former chief economists at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department Antitrust Division calling for a separation of the legal and economic analysis in the draft Merger Guidelines.
ProMarket is dedicated to discussing how competition tends to be subverted by special interests.
The posts represent the opinions of their writers, not necessarily those of the University of Chicago, the Booth School of Business, or its faculty.
For more information, please visit ProMarket Policy.