3 Consumer Groups Speak Out Against Whole Foods/Wild Oats Marriage

Three consumer groups have filed an amicus brief on behalf of the FTC, which has moved to block Whole Foods’ attempt to purchase rival Wild Oats. A federal judge is expected to rule on the case soon; in the meantime, Whole Foods earlier today extended its offer to Wild Oats until August 15th. Omg this is totally like when Heidi decided to move in with Spencer on The Hills! (We had to go to Wikipedia to write that sentence.)

The FTC wants to block the buyout because they think it will lead to increased prices and decreased quality, because the two chains are the two biggest competitors among premium natural and organic grocers. Both companies have responded that a merger would actually lower Wild Oats’ prices, and that traditional grocery stores–which are quickly expanding their organic and natural food inventories to meet consumer demand–are their real competitors. Our question: if Wild Oats is actually more expensive than Whole Foods, who shops there? We’re guessing Warren Buffet and Oprah.

Whole Foods extends Wild Oats tender again [Reuters]

AAI and Others File Amicus Brief in Whole Foods-Wild Oats Merger, Supporting the FTC [American Antitrust Institute]