retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Whole Foods and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may be getting close to a resolution of their ongoing battle over the retailer’s acquisition more than a year ago of Wild Oats, as the court hearings into the case scheduled for later this month have been postponed.

Both parties requested that the February 17-18 hearings not be held, though they did not give a reason; it was reported late last week that Whole Foods and the FTC are engaged in settlement talks that would result in the end of both court and administrative hearings that have been seeking to unravel the deal.

While the acquisition closed more than a year ago and Wild Oats has been almost completely consumed by Whole Foods, the FTC continues to maintain that it was anti-competitive and would reduce choice and raise prices for consumers. Whole Foods maintains that there is plenty of competition in the natural/organic segment, and that prices have, in fact, come down.

KC's View:
As a personal favor, I wish that if Whole Foods and the FTC are going to come to an agreement, they would do so ASAP…because quite frankly, I’m tired of writing about it and tired of thinking about how my tax dollars are being spent by a government agency that clearly has gone off the rails. (Oops…I did it again.)