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Whole Foods & Wild Oats merger Being Thwarted by Bushies?

Big vegan-related business news these past few weeks is Whole Foods CEO (and vegan) John Mackey’s war of words with the Federal Trade Commission over the FTC’s challenge to block Whole Foods’ plans to buy Wild Oats.

What makes this story juicy though, are the allegations/conspiracy theories (take your pick, depending on where you stand) that this effort by the FTC is actually the handiwork of cronies of the Bush administration to punish its political opponents, which would be the Austin-based liberals at Whole Foods. Check out this interesting article from Daniel Gross of Slate.com about “Bush’s War on Whole Foods.”

Mackey has written a 14,000 word blog post on his personal blog on Whole Foods’ website to defend his company’s plans to acquire Wild Oats, while the FTC has stuck to its complaint that a Whole Foods-Wild Oats merger will “mean higher prices, reduced quality, and fewer choices for consumers.”

Meanwhile, Fortune magazine is taking questions for John Mackey for a future issue here concerning “the organic food market, the Wild Oats merger and corporate ethics.”

5 Comments

  1. Comment by

    maritov

    on #

    I don’t understand why you think it is anti-Vegan to enforce the Sherman anti-trust act, created to prevent big business from exercising monopoly power to drive up prices and drive smaller competitors out of business. I, for one, remember what it was like in the days before chain heath food stores, when the stores were community places, when they weren’t full of meat and instead catered to organic, local, vegan tastes. Yeah, whole foods and its ilk have their purposes, but I don’t think it is at all okay to let them consolidate their market power any further. There are tons of things it is hard to get there and tons of things that are super-expensive (including organic produce) that I would rather buy from small local stores that care about me and my community. It is not a war on veganism to protect my local (vegan-friendly) stores.

  2. Comment by

    quietgrrrl

    on #

    I don’t who’s behind blocking the merger – I hope they’re successful. Whole Foods is turning into the Wal-Mart of natural foods stores. Not good.

  3. Comment by

    jwarchol

    on #

    Wal-Mart is already the Wal-Mart of natural foods. I support WF buying WO and it’s not a monopoly. Natural foods are in every grocery store. Sure, my local grocery only has 3 flavors of Soy Delicious, not 9 like Whole Foods :-) And the article has a typo. It says Whole Foods plans to aquire Whole Foods where it should say Wild Oats.

  4. Comment by

    quietgrrrl

    on #

    My comment was meant to reference Whole Foods and other large natural food store chains killing off independent retailers. Of which the buyout of Wild Oats is another symptom. I like my independent natural foods stores and I like that I have a variety of them to choose from. If I can’t find a particular item I want at one, I go to another. When there’s only Whole Foods and Whole Foods doesn’t carry what you want, you either have to order it and wait or you’re just out of luck.

    Variety is good. Choices are good. Whole Foods buying other chains and gaining an even bigger hold on the natural foods market is conducive to neither.

  5. Comment by

    Patrick Kwan

    on #

    Hmmm…I don’t believe I wrote anything that could be conceived as me thinking that it’s “anti-vegan to enforce the Sherman anti-trust act.”

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