Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Judge questions Whole Foods deal

August 01, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal judge Tuesday questioned a central part of Whole Foods Market Inc.'s argument that it should be permitted to buy rival Wild Oats Markets Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission has filed suit in federal court to block the $585-million deal, claiming that the two companies compete in a specific market of natural and organic food and that their combination will lead to reduced service and increased prices.

David T. Scheffman, an expert witness called by the two companies, disputed that contention and said the two chains competed with other supermarkets, such as Safeway Inc. and Trader Joe's.

"They're supermarkets," said Scheffman, an economic consultant previously employed by the FTC. "They're one-stop shopping."

However, Judge Paul L. Friedman said Safeway's stores might not provide one-stop shopping if a customer was interested in organic food.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|