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 am concerned that Tops is being anti-competitive in their acquisition of Penn Traffic assets. Ithaca has recently been served by three supermarket chains: Wegmans, Tops, and P&C (Penn Traffic). By acquiring the Penn Traffic assets Tops prevented the arrival of a competitor, namely Price Chopper. Tops has already sold one store in an underserved area. A second store (N. Triphammer Rd.) is across the street from a Tops, and will likely be closed. Today they announced that they will close the East Hill Plaza (Pine Tree Road) store if a buyer is not found. This will leave Ithaca with two grocery chains, with only one (Tops) in the Northeast and none on East Hill. Having Price Chopper as a competitor would have ensured competition in the best interest of the consumer. Finally, Wal-Mart will arrive some time this year with a Super Store, however, this isn't likely to affect the "hills" as they are located downtown adjacent to Tops and Wegmans. The Northeast will still lack competition and East Hill will remain underserved. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to voice my concern.