Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the merger of New York-based supermarket operators The Golub Corp., which owns the Price Chopper chain, and Tops Market Corp. would likely be anticompetitive in 11 local markets across upstate New York and Vermont.
Under the terms of the final settlement, the supermarket operators have agreed to divest 12 Tops supermarkets to C&S Wholesale Grocers. The order requires the parties to obtain the prior approval of the FTC before selling or acquiring supermarkets in the affected markets. The order also requires C&S Wholesale Grocers to obtain the prior approval of the FTC before selling any of the assets it is acquiring in this divestiture.
First announced in November 2021, the complaint alleged that the merger as proposed was likely to substantially lessen competition for the sale of grocery products in the New York communities of Cooperstown, Cortland, Oneida, Owego, Norwich, Warrensburg, Lake Placid, Rome, Watertown, and Plattsburgh; and in Rutland, Vermont. Under the order, the supermarket operators will divest one supermarket in each market except for Watertown, where they will divest two.
The Commission vote to approve the final order was 4-0.