WASHINGTON — A federal judge here yesterday denied a request by the Federal Trade Commission for a restraining order blocking the merger of Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats. The FTC had claimed that the merger was anticompetitive because the elimination of Wild Oats from the marketplace would allow Whole Foods to raise prices. In February Whole Foods offered to pay $18.50 per share, or nearly $700 million including debt, to acquire Wild Oats, which operates 110 stores across the U.S. During ...
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