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As expected, Ahold and Delhaize Group said on Saturday that they "have received regulatory clearance for their merger from the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The companies subsequently completed the merger with the signing of the merger deed."

The $29 billion merger became effective just after midnight on Sunday, with the new company being called Ahold Delhaize.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the deal makes the combined the company the fourth largest food retailer operating in the US, after Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons. The story says that "the company hopes to save €500 million ($549 million) a year by trimming head-office costs and buying goods in greater volumes. But it won’t cut brands or stores unless forced to by antitrust officials. In the U.S., it has agreed the sale of 86 stores, accounting for roughly 3% of sales, to keep the Federal Trade Commission happy."
KC's View:
For me, there will be several things that I want to see out of this merger.

One is that the kind of innovative thinking that has allowed for the creation of bFresh is made a priority. Another is that they find the right way to continue to grow Peapod, Ahold's e-commerce business.

And finally, they have to leave people like Mike Vail at Hannaford free to run their businesses, and not to make them crazy with too much heavy-handed oversight.

Find judicious savings, but make sure that increased effectiveness and innovation are the highest priorities.