Dollar store merger mania and the antitrust angle

Yet another comment (from RetailWire) about the proposed acquiaition of Family Dollar by Dollar General. This time, the topic is whether this will pass the government’s antitrust scrutiny. I say “yes”:

I would be surprised to see the government block this merger (if it happens) on antitrust concerns, as long as store overlap is addressed. It represents concentration in only one segment of the retail industry (dollar stores), not unlike the Macys-May combination in the department store segment. It’s not hard to make the case that dollar stores are competing for market share with discounters (especially Walmart’s small format stores), drug chains and e-commerce retailers like Amazon…not just against each other.

Regulators have bigger fish to fry, right? Think about the antitrust effects of a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, or the recently proposed Fox-Warner acquisition. These have potentially more far-reaching impact than the merger of two dollar stores.

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