A federal judge refused to block Whole Foods' $565 million purchase of the company's organic supermarket rival, Wild Oats Markets, despite an effort by the Federal Trade Commission to prevent the merger. The merger could go through next week if there is no appeal, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The takeover "will create long term value for customers, vendors and shareholders," boasted John Mackey, Whole Foods' charismatic CEO. An FTC official, however, warned that the merger "would most likely result in higher prices and reduced choices for consumers who shop at organic supermarkets." The judge filed his opinion under seal so detailed information about his conclusions is not available.