SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Grocery giant Kroger — which also owns the regional Smith’s brand — has announced a merger with competitor Albertsons that has drawn antitrust attention from Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

If approved, the $24.6 billion deal would expand the conglomerate’s reach to 85 million households, including nearly 5,000 stores nationally with over 710,000 employees according to the announcement by Kroger this morning. Kroger stated it “plans to invest in lowering prices for customers and expects to reinvest approximately half a billion dollars of cost savings … for customers.” The company also stated that it plans to invest $1 billion to “continue raising associate wages and comprehensive benefits…”

Lee, however, stated in a release this morning that he would use his position as a member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee to take a close look at the deal, claiming that food prices are up 13% from last year.

“Utahns, like all Americans, are suffering from skyrocketing food prices,” Lee stated. “As the senior Republican member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, I will do everything in my power to ensure our antitrust laws are robustly enforced to protect consumers from anticompetitive mergers that could further exacerbate the financial strain we already feel in the grocery store checkout aisle.”

In Utah, Albertsons currently only operates locations in St. George and Washington, though it also operates pharmacies in Salt Lake City, Washington and Tooele under the Lucky and Acme brands.

Kroger, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, has a total of 30 different brands in 35 states, mostly grocery stores. It does, however, also own jewelry, personal finance and marketing companies under its corporate umbrella. Albertsons, based in Boise, Idaho, has an additional 21 brands in 34 states under its name, almost entirely grocery and pharmacy stores.

Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen, who would head the combined company, said store name changes would be decided market-by-market.

“We’ll want to evaluate each market individually, who has the stronger market share,” he said.

Together, the stores would control around 13% of the U.S. grocery market, assuming the sale or closure of around 400 stores for antitrust reasons, according to J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman.

Still, that is a distant second to Walmart’s 22% share. Amazon, which bought Whole Foods in 2017, is also a growing player in the space, with 3% share. Warehouse store Costco controls 6%.