Secretaries of seven US states have written to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chair Lina Khan to stop the proposed acquisition of grocery retailer Albertsons by Kroger.

In a letter, the officials said that the merger would end up giving substantial power to Kroger-Albertsons to control nearly a quarter of the US food retail market.

The merger may also affect local suppliers, farmers, and small businesses that rely on a competitive grocery market.

The reduction in competition will enable the merged entity to manipulate prices that will eventually affect growers and shippers.

In the letter, the officials wrote: “This corporate merger will put an even larger strain on American families who are already struggling to pay the bills and keep food on the table. Government must stand up to corporate greed as it has done in the past to ensure there is a competitive marketplace for essential goods and services.

“As Secretaries of State, we are concerned about preserving a competitive grocery market that ensures fair competition and protects consumers and workers. We are strongly opposed to this merger and urge you to stop this corporate consolidation that is draining Americans of their hard-earned wages and livelihoods.”

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Meanwhile, Reuters reported citing Kroger’s spokesperson that the planned deal would be good for consumers and store workers.

In October last year, Kroger entered a definitive agreement to acquire Albertsons in a deal valued at approximately $24.6bn.

However, 25 consumers filed an antitrust lawsuit against the merger in the US District Court Northern District of California, earlier this year.