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Whole Foods merger complaint

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The Federal Trade Commission issues an amended complaint Sept. 8 against Whole Foods' acquisition of Wild Oats Markets, claiming the already-completed merger is "substantially reducing or eliminating competition in the operation of premium natural and organic supermarkets" in several geographic markets. The respondent has until Sept. 26 to file a response. FTC's complaint follows a same-day scheduling conference in which an administrative law judge from the agency laid out a timeline for filings and discovery leading up to a hearing before the commission on Feb. 16, 2009. The amended complaint filing was enabled by a July decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which reversed a lower court's ruling against FTC's motion for a preliminary injunction against the merger (1"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 18, 2008, p. 6). Whole Foods filed a petition Aug. 26 for a rehearing before the appeals court

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