The National Grocers Association welcomed bipartisan discussion on competition policy and the bottom-line impact on independent grocers during a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing.
When Federal Trade Commissioner Chair Lina Khan testified July 13 during an oversight hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, key Republicans and Democrats found some common ground in their lines of questioning.
Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) led a substantive discussion on competition policy and the bottom-line impact on America’s independent grocers and the shoppers who depend on them.
Lofgren pressed Khan to use the Robinson-Patman Act as a tool to check exponential consolidation and buyer-power abuses in the marketplace.
“My constituents aren’t contacting me worried about mergers between tech companies,” said Massie, chairman of the antitrust subcommittee.
“But one thing I’ve been contacted about multiple times is the small independent grocers feel like there are monopolistic practices being used against them.”
He then showed Khan a bipartisan letter he wrote with Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), a ranking member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, pushing the FTC for a closed-door briefing on the commission’s investigation into grocery practices.
“It’s encouraging to know that key members of Congress are asking the right questions. We hope that they and the FTC will follow through with action, bolstering and updating the nation’s antitrust laws for the 21st century,” said Chris Jones, SVP of government relations and counsel.
Dominant food retailers have grown bigger over the past few decades and routinely use that power to their advantage – often to the disadvantage of independent stores that serve rural and urban areas.