Saturday, March 7, 2009
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
The FTC can raise its victory flag in Whole Foods (at least for a partial victory). Whole Foods and the FTC entered into a settlement with Whole Foods. As the FTC press release explains:
The consent order will restore competition in 17 geographic markets that were impacted by the acquisition. In addition to requiring the transfer or divestiture of all rights to 32 stores, Whole Foods also is required to divest related Wild Oats intellectual property, including unrestricted rights to the “Wild Oats” brand, which retains significant name recognition and loyalty among consumers. These assets will allow one or more Commission-approved buyers to re-establish competition with Whole Foods in the majority of the markets in which the agency alleged the acquisition would reduce competition and harm consumers through higher prices and reduced quality and services.