Credo Action

Tell the Federal Trade Commission: Stop the Kraft Heinz merger

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Petition to the Federal Trade Commission:

"Block the Kraft Heinz mega-merger that would lead to less competition in the food market, fewer choices, and higher prices."

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    Tell the Federal Trade Commission: Stop the Kraft Heinz merger

    Kraft Foods and Heinz Company. Separate, they are two of the most iconic food brands in America. Combined, they are a threat to jobs, the environment, and affordable food.

    The two companies recently announced they would merge into one giant conglomerate, the Kraft Heinz Company, in a move brokered by Warren Buffett and 3G Capital, the Brazilian private equity firm behind Burger King’s tax avoidance scheme. The resulting company would be the third-largest in the United States, and the fifth-largest worldwide. It will be a profit-making machine for its owners that leaves us with fewer choices, fewer jobs, less competition, and higher prices.1

    This mega-merger won’t go through until the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reviews the agreement for anti-trust concerns, and offers its approval – so we have a chance to kill this deal, if we speak out now.

    Tell the Federal Trade Commission: Stop the Kraft Heinz Merger.

    The planned merger would be bad for workers, bad for the environment, and bad for consumers. 3G Capital, the Brazilian firm behind the deal, has a long-history of purchasing companies and then slashing jobs in the name of profitability,2 leading one professor to say that news of the merger made job cuts “inevitable.”3

    3G also schemed to help Burger King avoid paying U.S. taxes through a “tax inversion” merger with the Canadian company Tim Horton’s, a deal that tens of thousands of CREDO members opposed.4

    Both companies have a poor ranking on sustainability, with Kraft coming in dead-last in one analysis. Our friends at the Rainforest Action Network have already criticized the deal, noting that the insatiable demand for palm oil from Kraft, Heinz, and the snack food industry has led to chopped-down rainforests and human rights violations around the globe.5

    Tell the Federal Trade Commission: Stop the Kraft Heinz Merger.

    When you walk down the aisles of a supermarket, you see hundreds of different options. But often, all those different store brands are owned by the same parent company, which wields so much market power it can influence supply lines, crowd out healthier competitors, deliver low-quality food, and still charge higher prices. Already, around a half-dozen, gigantic companies control most of the global food market – we can’t let the situation get worse.6

    The Federal Trade Commission’s main concern is whether the deal violates anti-trust law, including whether the companies are direct competitors or whether their products overlap – for instance, by selling different categories of food. The FTC has tremendous discretion to determine how specific those categories should be defined, though, leading one analyst to declare that “The Heinz-Kraft deal may come under scrutiny by the FTC, even though the companies’ products may appear complementary.”7

    CREDO members successfully led the charge against the proposed Comcast-Time Warner merger. If we raise our voices again now, we can shift the scales and convince the FTC to take a closer look at this bad deal.

    Tell the Federal Trade Commission: Stop the Kraft Heinz Merger.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. Leah Douglas, “Why You Should Be Paying Attention to the Proposed Heinz/Kraft Merger,” Pacific Standard, April 8, 2015.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Dave Flavelle, “Heinz-Kraft Merger Raises Fear Of Job Cuts,” ValueWalk, March 25, 2015.
    4. Douglas, “Why You Should Be Paying Attention to the Proposed Heinz/Kraft Merger.”
    5. Keith Larsen, “The sustainability challenge of the Kraft-Heinz merger,” GreenBiz, April 15, 2015.
    6. Frank Maduri, “The Kraft-Heinz merger & the monopoly on food,” UPI, March 26, 2015.
    7. Craig Giammona, “Kraft-Heinz Deal Set for FTC’s Pattern of Food-Deal Scrutiny,” BloombergBusiness, March 25, 2015.