The saga began in April, when Food Distributors International (FDI), which represents wholesalers that mostly sell to smaller chains and independent stores, announced an alliance with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), which represents nearly all the United States and global grocery store chains, plus major distributors. However, influential grocery chains (Safeway, Kroger, etc.) were already signing up for e-marketplaces that would also sell them actual merchandise, such as