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Maryland agrees to merger of Giant Food and Food Lion parent companies

Maryland and five other states have reached a settlement with Giant Food parent company Koninklijke Ahold approving its proposed merger with Delhaize Group, the owner of Food Lion supermarkets, state Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said Monday.

The Federal Trade Commission and the state attorneys general required the parent companies to sell off 76 stores nationwide to satisfy antitrust regulations, including 26 in Maryland.

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The companies announced the sales earlier this month, including the sale of 21 Food Lions in Maryland, including half a dozen in the Baltimore region, to Weis Markets and the sale of a handful of Food Lions around Hagerstown to Supervalu, which will run them as Shop N Save stores. In Salisbury, Albertson's will acquire a Giant Food store and remake it as an Acme store.

"Entering into this settlement and allowing this merger to be completed with divestitures will ensure a continued and robust competition for the Maryland market," Frosh said in a statement. "This settlement maintains a marketplace with incentives for stores to offer the best prices, service and merchandise to Maryland consumers."

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