By Sam Silverstein
Source: Grocery Dive

A hearing to evaluate a request by the Federal Trade Commission for a preliminary injunction to block Kroger and Albertsons’ plan to merge is set to begin this summer.

In an order released on Monday, Judge Adrienne Nelson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon said the hearing will start on Aug. 26 in Portland. The judge gave the parties in the case until Friday to file a proposed briefing schedule.

The high-stakes proceeding, which experts said could last for several weeks, represents a critical juncture for the grocery chains as they move ahead with an effort to turn aside the FTC’s challenge to their merger. While Kroger and Albertsons would be able to challenge an injunction if the judge grants regulators’ request for such an order, they would face a difficult path if they tried to do so, according to antitrust attorneys.

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