Thursday, February 05, 2009

FTC Extends Suspension of Proceedings on Whole Foods/Wild Oats Merger

This posting was written by John W. Arden.

The Federal Trade Commission’s temporary halt to its administrative proceedings challenging the combination of specialty grocers Whole Foods Market Inc. and Wild Oats Markets, Inc. has been extended by 30 days, to Friday, March 6.

At the request of Whole Foods, the Commission on January 28 withdrew the matter from adjudication for five business days—until February 5—for the purpose of considering a proposed consent agreement.

“We look forward to continuing our discussions with Whole Foods to determine whether we can reach a mutually agreeable settlement that would be in the best interest of consumers,” said David P. Wales, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, in a February 4 announcement.

The statement by Wales appears here and the Commission’s order extending withdrawal of the matter from adjudication appears here on the FTC website.

Further information regarding the original suspension of proceedings and the controversy itself appears in a January 29, 2009 posting on Trade Regulation Talk.

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