FTC Appeals Judge’s Ruling on Whole Foods Merger

The Federal Trade Commission on Friday said it has appealed a district court judge’s decision allowing Whole Foods to acquire Wild Oats, and will seek a court order to delay the acquisition pending the appeal.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission on Friday said it has appealed a district court judge’s decision allowing Whole Foods to acquire Wild Oats, and will seek a court order to delay the acquisition pending the appeal. On Thursday Judge Paul Friedman had denied the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking the merger, citing his reasoning in a 93-page decision that has been sealed because it contains competitive information. Whole Foods agreed not to consummate the merger until today, pending the outcome of the FTC’s request for a delay. In a prepared statement, an attorney for Whole Foods said it was “confident” the merger will be allowed to proceed. “We have reviewed Judge Friedman’s 93-page opinion supporting his denial of the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction,” said Paul T. Denis Of Dechert LLP. “The opinion is firmly grounded in both the facts and the law, and provides a detailed analysis of ‘what is really happening in the marketplace.’”

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