Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Play

Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

Play

Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

Play

The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

ID-Based Albertsons Merger with Kroger Could Impact Rural U.S.

Play

Wednesday, January 18, 2023   

The proposed merger between the Idaho-based grocery chain Albertsons and Kroger has antitrust laws in the spotlight, as the supermarket companies are already the two largest in the country.

Idaho has the third most Albertsons stores in the country, with 39 across the state. Announced in October, the merger has been under intense scrutiny.

Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, said the grocery industry is already consolidated, which hurts workers, small businesses and consumers.

"We've seen food production workers and farmers getting paid less for food, and we've seen consumers paying more for groceries," Mitchell observed. "What's happening is that you've got a small number of companies in the middle -- the middlemen, including the supermarket chains -- who are absorbing more and more of that spending for themselves."

Mitchell noted since the announcement of the merger, Congress has enacted what she calls the most significant antitrust legislation in 50 years. The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act was passed in the government spending package in December. It lowers fees on smaller acquisitions and increases them for the largest mergers, raising more money for Congress to use to fund antitrust enforcement.

Mitchell pointed out consolidation especially is harmful for rural areas, which depend more on small and mid-sized businesses for their economy. She noted the country has seen a sharp decline in businesses of this type.

"Rural areas have been particularly hard hit by that because, if you're a small town, you don't have a corporate headquarters of a giant company, right?" Mitchell explained. "You rely naturally on smaller businesses and those businesses have really been hurt and squeezed by the monopoly problem that we're seeing."

The spending package also included the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, which makes it easier for state attorneys general litigating antitrust cases to remain in their selected courts.

Mitchell added the changes have support from lawmakers in both parties.

"We've seen this growing momentum in Congress to address antitrust, and it's bipartisan," Mitchell stressed. "That's one of the things that I think is striking in this moment, given the partisan divisions on just about any other issue you can think of."


get more stories like this via email
The VOTES Act also ensures the Commonwealth joins the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a multi-state consortium which aims to keep voter registration rolls up to date, encourage voter registration and prevent voter fraud. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are applauding Governor Maura Healey's budgetary backing of new policies stemming from last year's passage of…


Environment

Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …


Going back generations, many Indigenous cultures developed strong ties with bison and relied upon them for sustenance, shelter, and cultural and religious practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

Health and Wellness

As the cost of food, medicine and rent continues to climb, new data shows the benefits miners receive are now 40% less than what they received in 1969…

Garrett Betts inspects his 275-gallon tank and trailer setup. Before Garrett built the trailer, he was hauling water with the tank in the bed of his truck.(Photo by Zachary Shephard)

Environment

By Zachary Shepherd and Kelsey Paulus for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Co…

Social Issues

Republican-sponsored bills and amendments in the Legislature would eliminate the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. More than 1.5-million …

Social Issues

Texas' GOP-dominated legislature is considering bills to flip the script on powers traditionally afforded home-rule cities, instead forcing them to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021