LUBBOCK, Texas — The Washington state Supreme Court has cleared the path for Albertsons, the parent company of Lubbock-based United Family, to pay a $4 billion dividend to its shareholders ahead of a proposed merger with rival Kroger.

According to reports from the Associated Press, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson argued the move could financially weaken Albertsons and lead to locations shutting down.

The court rejected reviewing the case or extending a temporary restraining order blocking the dividend on Tuesday, according to the AP. previously reported in October that several senators called on federal regulators to reject the merger. Senator Elizabeth Warren posted a tweet that stated, “More mergers and less competition would mean even higher prices—and layoffs for employees.”

“Albertsons Cos.’ proposed merger with The Kroger Co. is continuing through required regulatory review, including seeking clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976,” A press release from Albertons stated on Tuesday.

The statement also said Albertsons Companies, Inc. would immediately begin the process of paying the Special Dividend “as soon as practicable.”

 “We respect the decision of the Court, but we are surprised and disappointed the Supreme Court decided not to hear this case. That said, I want to be clear: This merger is far from a done deal. My team and I will be conducting a thorough review,” a statement from AG Ferguson read.