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Natural-food fight

(article, Caroline Cummins)

For more than a year, the Whole Foods grocery chain has been trying to finalize its acquisition of the Wild Oats grocery chain. The Federal Trade Commission has held up the merger, investigating whether the consolidation of the two natural-foods chains amounts to a monopoly. 

As part of its defense, Whole Foods has subpoenaed company records from numerous grocery chains around the country, including Oregon's New Seasons, which sued Whole Foods in return. 

Now's Barry Estabrook has taken up the David-vs.-Goliath cause: 
little chain against big chain. As Estabrook points out:

bq. With major airline mergers and multi-billion-dollar banks rushing to leap into bed with each other, you’d think the commission would have more important issues on its plate than a relatively modest half-billion-dollar deal between two natural-foods stores.

The latest twist? This week, Whole Foods filed a suit against the FTC.