The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is scrutinizing American grocers, attributing rising food prices to increased industry consolidation. Moving ever farther away from the consumer welfare standard, the agency is trying to block a grocery merger that will likely lower prices for consumers. The FTC is reportedly readying a suit under a depression-era law prohibiting price discrimination that has remained mostly dormant due to its incongruence with benefiting consumers.

Join our panel for a discussion of the FTC’s recent actions involving grocery markets where we will explore the challenge to the Kroger/Albertsons merger, the agency’s report on grocery supply chains, and a potential revival of the Robinson-Patman Act.

When: 12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

Tuesday, July 9, 2024


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Questions: [email protected] or 202.331.2764

Alden Abbott is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center focusing on antitrust issues. Before joining Mercatus, Abbott served as the Federal Trade Commission’s General Counsel from 2018 to early 2021, where he represented the commission in court and provided legal advice to its representatives. Prior to working at the FTC, Abbott worked at the Heritage Foundation, BlackBerry Ltd., and as an adjunct professor at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School from 1991 to 2018. Abbott has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an M.A. in economics from Georgetown University.

Brian Albrecht is the chief economist of the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE). In his role, he is responsible for the application and integration of theoretical and empirical economic methodologies into ICLE’s research. He is also an assistant professor of economics at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. Albrecht’s research focuses on price theory, information economics, competition and innovation, and political economy. He earned his PhD and M.A. in economics from the University of Minnesota, his M.Sc. in economics of public policy from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, and his bachelor’s in physics and political science from St. Olaf College. 

Fred Ashton is the director of competition policy at the American Action Forum. His research focuses on analysis of regulatory and legislative proposals affecting competition, antitrust, merger, and consolidation-related economic activity. Prior to joining AAF, Ashton served as the senior economist for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He was also an international database manager at Haver Analytics concentrating on data sourced from the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Bank for International Settlements, and World Bank. Ashton holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Penn State and a master’s degree in applied economics from the University of Maryland.

Alex Reinauer is a research fellow with the Center for Technology and Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, focusing on tech policy and antitrust. His writing has been published with The Hill, National Review, and Regulation Magazine. Reinauer holds a J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, where he served as a managing editor for the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal. He received his B.A. in political science from McNeese State University.

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