WASHINGTON — The judge who is re-hearing the Whole Foods antirust case after allowing the merger to proceed last year has asked the Federal Trade Commission how it might be possible to halt the ongoing integration of Whole Foods and Wild Oats, according to reports.
A three-judge panel sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman earlier this year after the FTC appealed his first decision denying an injunction against the merger, which was completed in August 2007. Whole Foods has already closed 19 acquired locations and is converting the rest to the Whole Foods banner.
In the meantime, Whole Foods has asked to depose FTC Commissioner Thomas Rosch and obtain his staff emails, according to reports. Whole Foods claims the FTC has not been impartial because Rosch had voted to pursue the investigation while he was temporarily acting as the lead judge in the FTC’s administrative case, Reuters reported.
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