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Whole Foods rehearing petition denied

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejects the supermarket chain's request for a rehearing en banc concerning its acquisition of Wild Oats Markets, following the court's July ruling in favor of the Federal Trade Commission, according to a Nov. 21 order. FTC claims the merger between Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods and Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats limits competition in the "premium, natural and organic supermarket" segment. "We look forward to presenting our evidence as to why this merger is unlawful" at the administrative trial before the commission, scheduled for Feb. 16, says David Wales, FTC's Bureau of Competition acting director. Wales adds the agency wants to maintain competition and reach "a meaningful remedy." FTC indicated interest in settling, though Whole Foods may seek certiorari before the Supreme Court, which has shown pro-merger sentiments (1"The Tan Sheet" Aug. 18, 2008, p. 6)
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