Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Whole Foods tries to buy Wild Oats

As reported by "Wine & Spirits Daily"
FTC SEEKS TO HALT WHOLE FOODS ACQUISITION. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a complaint challenging Whole Foods' approximately $600 million takeover of chief rival Wild Oats. The complaint asserts that the acquisition would violate antitrust laws and could lead Whole Foods to raise prices and cut its quality and services. As a result, the FTC said it would seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to halt the deal.

Whole Foods says its competition is not limited to just natural and organic supermarkets and includes traditional supermarkets as well.

"The FTC has failed to recognize the robust competition in the supermarket industry, which has grown more intense as competitors increase their offerings of natural, organic and fresh products, renovate their stores and open stores with new banners and formats resembling Whole Foods Market," Whole Foods chairman and chief John Mackey said in a statement.

Both companies said they would fight the FTC decision.

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