Antitrust Law

Whole Foods Hearing to Begin

In a two-day hearing that begins tomorrow, a federal judge will consider whether Whole Foods Market Inc. may gobble up its competitor, Wild Oats Markets Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission contends the two grocers will dominate the market for premium organic groceries if the merger proceeds. To defeat the merger, the grocers will have to persuade the judge that the companies are part of the larger grocery market.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman of Washington, D.C., is expected to rule in a couple weeks, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.

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