WASHINGTON — Whole Foods Market has asked the Federal Trade Commission to select an administrative law judge to preside over the FTC’s antitrust proceedings against the Whole Foods-Wild Oats merger who does not serve as a commissioner, according to reports. FTC Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch is slated to preside over a Sept. 8 hearing to establish a schedule for the FTC’s administrative proceedings against the deal, but an administrative law judge to oversee the proceedings that follow the Sept. 8 hearing has not yet been announced. The FTC has two such judges, one of whom recently announced his retirement. However, in one recent antitrust case Rosch served as the administrative law judge to expedite the case. Whole Foods reportedly is opposed to Rosch or any other commissioner serving as the administrative law judge in the case because the commissioners had all voted to seek a temporary restraining order to block the merger, which was completed a year ago.
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