Whole Foods Sought to ‘Avoid Nasty Price Wars’ Through Merger

Whole Foods Market was seeking to eliminate its competition by buying rival Wild Oats Markets, according to statements from its chief executive officer unsealed yesterday in the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint against the proposed merger of the two companies.

WASHINGTON — Whole Foods Market was seeking to eliminate its competition by buying rival Wild Oats Markets, according to statements from its chief executive officer unsealed yesterday in the Federal Trade Commission’s complaint against the proposed merger of the two companies. “By buying [Wild Oats] we will … avoid nasty price wars in Portland (both Oregon and Maine), Boulder [Colo.], Nashville [Tenn.], and several other cities which will harm [Whole Foods’] gross margins and profitability,”

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