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Whole Foods strikes back

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The supermarket chain seeks an injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Federal Trade Commission for attempting to deprive the company of its due process rights, Whole Foods says Dec. 8. Whole Foods contends FTC prejudged the company's merger with Wild Oats Markets and, after an appeals court overturned a lower court's denial of an injunction the commission sought against the merger, scheduled an administrative trial for Feb. 16 that forces Whole Foods to "defend itself in 29 separate geographic jurisdictions in a merger that was not anti-competitive," says Lanny Davis, attorney for the Austin, Texas-based chain. Co-founder and CEO John Mackey says consumers already benefit from the September 2007 merger with lower prices and higher quality. Whole Foods argues an unbiased federal judge should hear the case rather than FTC commissioners. An appeals court recently rejected the company's request for a rehearing en banc (1"The Tan Sheet" Dec. 1, 2008, In Brief)

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