Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Tops Markets LLC, a limited liability company, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners V U.S. Holdco LLC, a limited liability company, and The Penn Traffic Company, a corporation. FTC File No. 101 0074 #550026-00014

Submission Number:
550026-00014
Commenter:
Saugata Ghose
State:
New York
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Tops Markets LLC, a limited liability company, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners V U.S. Holdco LLC, a limited liability company, and The Penn Traffic Company, a corporation. FTC File No. 101 0074
I'm not sure what kind of basis the FTC used in determining the potential for anti-competitive effects, but I can assure you that the decision to close the Ithaca P&C locations will only be detrimental to the population that it serves. As the former P&C on Pine Tree Rd. is located right next to my house, I shop there often. Especially in the winter, due to the poor and hilly geography of Ithaca, driving to another grocer in town is not an option, and is highly risky. Along with the convenience of having a 24-hour grocer nearby, losing the location will be a great inconvenience. With this area, along with Upstate New York, having faced more serious economic depression over the last two decades than most of the country, I don't understand how the FTC expects a buyer to emerge, especially given the current economic climate. Instead, while they may think they are helping competition, the FTC's decision will effectively shutter these stores. In effect, this will cause significant inconvenience to a large number of shoppers, especially to much of the student population surrounding these stores. Considering many of these students do not have alternative means of transportation, having a grocery within walking distance is critical. While I agree that Tops is far from the cheapest of stores, I am highly doubtful that a buyer will be found, even if Tops were to put in the utmost effort. I believe that the decision made by the FTC was done hastily, and does not consider the ultimate consequences it will have on the local population. I seriously encourage the panel to devise an alternative solution that will not be so disruptive to the lives of so many. At the very least, if no buyer can be found, Tops should be allowed to maintain the operations of the stores. Without something of this nature, the panel will inadvertently cause a significant number of people to suffer greatly.