Liz Warren ridiculed over stand against ‘sandwich shop monopoly’

Senator Elizabeth Warren set off a wave of social media ridicule after her serious take on a “sandwich shop monopoly.”

The Massachusetts Democrat is all for a federal antitrust investigation sparked by a potential sale of sandwich giant Subway, making it clear in a post on X that “The @FTC is right to investigate.”

“The Federal Trade Commission is investigating if the $10 billion purchase of Subway creates a sandwich shop monopoly with Jimmy John’s and Arby’s. The latter two, in addition to McAlister’s Deli and Schlotzky’s, are owned by private equity firm Roark Capital, which inked a deal to buy Subway in August,” Politico reported last week. “The government is focused in part on whether the addition of Subway gives Roark too much control of a lucrative segment of the fast food industry, the people said.”

Warren, long known as a vocal antitrust hawk in the Senate, reacted to the probe in an online post.

“We don’t need another private equity deal that could lead to higher food prices for consumers,” the Democrat wrote on X. “The FTC is right to investigate whether the purchase of Subway by the same firm that owns Jimmy John’s and McAlister’s Deli creates a sandwich shop monopoly.”

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz thought the message was “embarrassing” for his Democrat colleague.

“’Sandwich shop monopoly.’ These are words that do not exist in law or in economics,” he posted on X. “It’s embarrassing she used to be a Harvard Law professor.”

The FTC’s investigation “is in the early stages, and any resolution is likely months away,” according to Politico which added that it “began earlier this month, according to one of the people. Most mergers valued over $111.4 million must undergo a mandatory 30-day review period by either the FTC or Justice Department. Any investigation beyond that time period is discretionary.”

The report also noted that the FTC, under Chair Lina Khan, “has yet to win a merger challenge in court.”

Sen. Warren has previously voiced her opposition last year to Kroger’s proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons. She also urged the FTC last year to oppose Amazon’s proposed $1.65 billion acquisition of iRobot and introduced the Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act. But many feel she and other lawmakers have been silent amid other major takeovers in entertainment and tech industries.

Her stance on Subway’s potential acquisition may not have been surprising but her alarm over a “monopoly” created a wave of “Big Sandwich” mockery on X where memes were born to mark the occasion.

Frieda Powers


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