Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want to block a Kroger-Albertsons grocery empire’s multibillion dollar takeover of US food giant Ahold and its subsidiaries, and they’re getting the job done.
Since Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat and former Harvard professor, campaigned last year for the US Senate against then-congressman Scott Brown, she has been a relentless critic of the corporate monopolies that control the country’s food supply through supermarket chains like Ahold, which operates supermarkets based in the United States, Europe, and Canada. (The grocery powerhouse is now under threat from a hostile takeover offer from Kroger (KR) – Get Report. Kroger has so far resisted Warren and Sanders, and has been trying to purchase Ahold since last year.)
In an article in Bloomberg last week, Warren accused Ahold’s CEO Paul Polman of creating the grocery industry’s profit system, in which suppliers, which include Walmart (WMT) – Get Report and Kroger, get to decide who can use the products they make, and how much they can charge for them. Warren wrote that she believed a better system — for both workers and suppliers — would be “to eliminate companies’ ability to set their own prices,” allowing them only to buy what they need “to supply their customer base.”
Ahold responded Friday morning, saying Warren “mischaracterized what’s going on,” as Bloomberg reports. Ahold CEO Polman “wants to help Walmart and Kroger achieve their goals, which is why he is considering a merger with Wal-Mart’s U.S. operation,” the company said in a statement.
“But because they won’t allow Walmart to compete in the markets they cover, we need to consider ways to cooperate with them, including on a larger scale,” Polman said in the statement. “We want to offer them what they want, and that’s a much more efficient and competitive food and grocery business.”
Here’s the full Bloomberg article, followed by more on Polman’s response.
Warren, a progressive who has been a favorite of the Democratic Party, has been a relentless critic of the corporate monopolies that control the country’s food supply