Whole Foods, Wild Oats Protest FTC Suit

Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market said Tuesday it will challenge a decision by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to file a complaint seeking to block its pending acquisition of smaller rival Wild Oats Market.

Wild Oats Market said separately it will cooperate with Whole Foods’ challenge.

The FTC will file a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Columbia and ask the court to enter a temporary restraining order to prohibit the acquisition from proceeding until the court has resolved the request for a preliminary injunction, according to Whole Foods.

Previously, the FTC said it was considering challenging the $565 million acquisition because of perceived anticompetitive effects.

“We are very disappointed by the decision and we intend to vigorously challenge the FTC in court,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods chairman and chief executive.

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