Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Whole Foods CEO Blogs About FTC and Proposed Merger

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

For those of you following the Whole Foods/Wild Oats merger saga (and if you normally read this blog, you have been), a new twist is the delicious comments (you think that the FTC is the only party allowed to make bad puns about this case?) of Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on the FTC action on his blog.  Some of the questions he answers are:

Why does the FTC believe this merger is anti-competitive?

What about the competition in the supermarket industry as a whole is the FTC failing to recognize here?

What about this quote from you that the FTC released in its complaint?

Will customers be harmed by this merger?

Will Wild Oats employees benefit from this merger?

How are Whole Foods Market's product suppliers reacting to the possible merger?

Will vendors be disadvantaged in negotiating with Whole Foods as a result of this merger?

What is Whole Foods Market's strategy for fighting the FTC's attempt to block the merger?

How long are you willing to fight this fight?

In the Company's history, has Whole Foods Market had more success with acquisitions than with organic growth?

Why has the media compared this deal with the failed Staples-Office Depot merger from a decade ago? Is this similar?

What is Whole Foods Market's continued growth plan if this merger doesn't go through?

How important is this merger to Whole Foods Market?

What is Whole Foods Market seeking out of this merger?

If Wild Oats is not your primary competitor, which companies are?

Many of his answers make sense.  However, I wonder if Mackey might be better off not commenting about the proposed transaction and leaving it to his lawyers and economic experts.

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