Home Liberal Sen. Warren’s food fight over a potential ‘big sandwich’ monopoly (The Week)

Sen. Warren’s food fight over a potential ‘big sandwich’ monopoly (The Week)

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Sen. Warren’s food fight over a potential ‘big sandwich’ monopoly – By Rafi Schwartz (The Week) / Dec 6, 2023

A private equity firm’s attempted Subway takeover has federal regulators salivating

Despite all the diverse offerings and unique cultural niches they’ve carved for themselves over the past century or so, America’s vast slate of fast food restaurants is largely predicated on the same basic model: A customer walks in, orders from the counter, and waits a minute or two while an employee constructs their meal from an assembly of pre-arranged components. Whether burgers, burritos, or roast beef sandwiches, the choreography is mostly the same, it’s simply the ingredients that differ.

For Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), however, the structural similarities across various fast food chains are a secondary concern to the question of who owns those chains to begin with. In particular, Warren is worried about Roark Capital Group, the private equity firm which this past August announced a deal to purchase the Subway sandwich company for nearly $10 billion. Once completed, Roark will add Subway to its existing roster of ubiquitous sandwich chains, including Arby’s, and Jimmy John’s, as well as other brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Culver’s, and Hardee’s.

Last month, Politico reported the Federal Trade Commission had opened an investigation into the Roark/Subway deal, probing whether the purchase would give the firm “too much control of a lucrative segment of the fast food industry.” On X, formerly Twitter, Warren hailed the investigation — still in its early stages — writing that the public doesn’t need “another private equity deal that could lead to higher food prices for consumers.”

CONTINUE > https://theweek.com/politics/warren-subway-roark-sandwich-monopoly

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