Whole Foods to Share FTC Updates Online

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. said it will post updates regarding the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) challenge of the chain's proposed merger with Wild Oats Markets, on a new section of its Web site (www.wholefoodsmarket.com).

"Our approach at Whole Foods is to be as open and transparent as reasonably possible," said chairman and c.e.o. John Mackey in a statement. "This new section, which includes a link to my blog, is an outlet for the company to proactively share information. We hope it will help our stakeholders understand Whole Foods' position as we move though the legal process."

Mackey added, "Whole Foods and Wild Oats are in full cooperation and will forcefully challenge the FTC's claim that the merger will eliminate competition in the natural-foods industry, therefore increasing prices and lowering quality."

The chain's first posting -- found at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ftchearingupdates -- is a document it presented to FTC commissioners prior to their decision to seek a preliminary injunction to block the merger. Entitled "The Proposed Acquisition of Wild Oats by Whole Foods Market Will Not Substantially Lessen Competition in Any Relevant Market," the document outlines Whole Foods' position that the transaction poses no threat to competition.

As previously announced, a hearing has been scheduled to begin on July 31 to decide whether the FTC's application to block the proposed merger will be granted.
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