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FTC Clears Albertsons' Purchase Of Safeway

Paul Sakuma / AP
 

Paul Sakuma / AP

(AP) - Supermarket chain Albertsons says U.S. regulators have approved its purchase of Pleasanton-based Safeway Inc.

The companies say the deal should close within five business days.

Albertsons agreed to buy Safeway in March for $7.64 billion in cash, but the Federal Trade Commission said the sale would hurt consumers in 130 markets by reducing competition.

Last month, the companies said they would sell 168 stores in eight states to address those concerns. Most of the stores will be bought by Haggen, a chain in the Northwest. Haggen will expand to 164 locations from 18.

Safeway Inc., which operates Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Carrs stores, is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States with sales of $35.1 billion in 2013.