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The Federal Trade Commission To Haul Whole Foods Into Court?

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Photo of Whole Foods London via Flickr/Tim Bush

Whole Foods' path to world domination has been challenged by the Federal Trade Commission. You may recall that in February, Whole Foods announced that it would be purchasing smaller rival Wild Oats for $565 million dollars. This impending deal alarmed the F.T.C., who's worried (rightly so) about the chain's almost unchallenged supremacy in the organic foods market, stating that the merger would result in "higher prices, reduced quality and fewer choices for consumers." One might argue that this has already happened. As anyone who's set foot in Whole Foods lately can attest, the prices are pretty high and the quality, especially at the older locations, is not what it once was. According to the Times, "The agency said it would seek a restraining order and injunction in United States District Court in Washington to prevent Whole Foods from buying Wild Oats. It will also seek a trial." It will be interesting to see if the F.T.C. can successfully stand in the way of the grocery store giant. On a completely unrelated note: the first Whole Foods London store opens today.
· F.T.C. to Sue in Bid to Halt Food Merger [NY Times]