Statement by David Wales, Acting Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition

For Release

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Statement by David Wales, Acting Director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling on November 21, 2008, that denies Whole Foods Market, Inc.’s petition for rehearing en banc of the appellate court's reversal of the District Court’s decision in the Whole Foods matter:

“We are quite pleased with the ruling on Friday by the appeals court reaffirming its decision to vacate the district court’s denial of the Commission’s application for an injunction against the acquisition of Wild Oats by Whole Foods. Importantly, the decision rendered by the majority of the appellate panel reaffirms that the proper role of the district court in considering whether to grant the Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction is limited to whether the case raises sufficiently serious and substantial issues so as to make them fair ground for litigation during the full trial on the merits in the administrative proceedings.

“Now that the appellate court has denied Whole Foods’ request for further review, we look forward to presenting our evidence as to why this merger is unlawful and should be undone at the plenary trial in a few months. We are also ready to address the public equities in further proceedings before the district court with the goal of preserving competition in the interim and ensuring that a meaningful remedy can be obtained.”

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust@ftc.gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read “Competition Counts” at http://www.ftc.gov/competitioncounts.

(Docket No. 9324)
(Whole Foods Statement.final.wpd)

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