Tuesday, June 05, 2007

FTC to try to block grocer's acquisition

FTC to try to block grocer's acquisition:
"Natural foods grocer Wild Oats Market Inc. said Tuesday that federal regulators will file a lawsuit to prevent its acquisition by competitor Whole Foods Market Inc...Whole Foods has said the FTC is considering trying to prevent the sale from being completed over concerns over anticompetitive effects."
That is sort of surprising to me. First of all it is saying that Natural and Organic grocers are a different market than other grocers. Which is clearly not the case (don't believe me? Price an organic item too high and see everyone go to the non organic variety!).

Secondly, with the widespread adoption of "organic" products by national producers (see Hunts, Kraft, etc.), it is unclear whether the "natural and organic" grocers will have the market to themselves.

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