WASHINGTON — A hearing at which the Federal Trade Commission will seek a preliminary injunction against the acquisition of Wild Oats Markets by rival Whole Foods Market has been scheduled to begin on July 31, an FTC spokesman told SN yesterday. Both chains, which in February had agreed to merge, said they would fight the FTC's decision, announced last week, to seek the injunction. If the injunction is granted, it effectively quashes the transaction, as an appeal could take years, sources told SN. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods had agreed to acquire all of Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats' stock in a deal worth nearly $700 million.
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