WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission, twice defeated already in its effort to block Whole Foods Market’s acquisition of Wild Oats Markets, is seeking to undo the merger. In court filings this week, the FTC argued that although the merger has been completed on paper, the two entities are still essentially operating separately and their merger should be undone. In August, the U.S. District Court here denied the FTC’s request to block the acquisition, which the FTC had said would violate antitrust laws because it would consolidate the two largest “premium natural and organic” food retailers and allow them to raise prices. “The district court's decision, which denied the Commission's application for a preliminary injunction preventing Whole Foods' acquisition of Wild Oats Markets, contains fundamental legal errors that threaten the Commission's performance of its law enforcement mission,” the FTC said in requesting a speedy trial.
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