FTC’s Whole Foods complaint: still bulls**t

As Manfred reports over at the Antitrust Review, the judge has unsealed the FTC’s complaint against Whole Foods. This unredacted version reveals an unhealthy reliance on hot docs by the FTC’s staff. I won’t belabor the point.  But when you’re looking at marketing materials and reports to the board to identify anticompetitive intent (hmmm.  I didn’t know intent was relevant in merger cases . . . .) through “fighting words” and “smoking guns,” you’re barking up the wrong tree. It is little or no evidence of likely anticompetitive effect that Whole Food’s outspoken CEO claims that purchasing Wild Oats will remove “forever or almost forever” the threat to Whole Food’s market.

Read the full piece here.