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FTC appeals ruling allowing Whole Foods to proceed with acquisition

[JURIST] The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Friday contesting a DC District Court decision [order, PDF] allowing organic food company Whole Foods Market to buy rival grocer Wild Oats Markets [corporate websites]. US District Judge Paul L. Friedman refused to issue an injunction blocking the acquisition [Bloomberg report] on Thursday, saying it did not violate US antitrust laws. The FTC argues that the merger will limit competition in the organic food market, thereby hurting consumers. Whole Foods, however, maintains that it must still compete with traditional food markets that are beginning to offer more organic varieties.

Whole Foods has agreed to not complete the acquisition prior to August 20 [press release], but may continue with the buyout afterwards if no injunction is granted. AP has more.

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