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Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen went on CNBC this week to say that "he’s confident about the deal despite the Federal Trade Commission’s recent crackdown on mergers."  McMullen said that he believes the FTC will approve the proposed $24.6 billion deal because it will reach the conclusion that "it will only benefit customers and employees."

“We’ve invested and lowered our pricing for multiple years in a row, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re so confident when the FTC looks at the detail that we’ll be able to share that the customer benefits, our associates benefit, and the communities benefit from the merger,” McMullen said.

The CEO told CNBC that he believes that the merger "will allow the company to further invest in technology, like their online grocery business, as well as give employees further job security."

KC's View:

McMullen is out there telling the story to a greater degree than he seems to have been over the past few months, which makes me think that there may be a sense at Kroger and Albertsons that they were going to face more resistance than expected.

Telling the story is only one part of the equation, of course, but it is a critically important part.  It will become even more so if I'm right about how this is going to go down - the FTC will reject the merger, but Kroger and Albertsons will prevail in court, though they'll have to divest more stores than they'd like to.