Connecticut Launches Price Gouging Inquiry in the Wake of FTC Report

The Federal Trade Commission issued a report accusing grocery chains of price gouging and now the Connecticut Attorney General is conducting an inquiry. The result may a be bill that gives the Attorney General more powers to fight this activity. Grocery chain profits are at a 70-year high and grocery prices are at record highs which is a major contributor to runaway inflation. Large and small retailers will be included in this inquiry. Attorney General William Tong said, “We won’t stop …going until we have an understanding of this market”. Other states are quickly following suit.  All of this comes in the shadow of the proposed $24.6 billion Kroger and Albertsons merger. 

In March, an FTC report accused large grocery chains of using pandemic-era supply chain disruptions as an opportunity to further raise prices and increase profits which remain elevated today.  The FTC focused on nine major retailers and CPG companies including, Kraft-Heinz, Proctor & Gamble, Tyson Foods, McLane Company, Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Associated Wholesale Grocers and C&S Wholesale Grocers. The report found that food and beverage retailers increased their revenue by more than 6% over their costs in 2021 and that revenue climbed 7% further in 2023 casting doubts on the assertions of some companies that rising prices at the grocery store are the result of retailers’ own rising costs.