Whole Foods Market has reaffirmed its belief that its planned takeover of rival Wild Oats Markets will go through despite the US Federal Trade Commission refusing to throw in the towel.
The FTC has launched an appeal against a ruling last Thursday that dismissed the regulator’s request for a temporary injunction to block the US$565m takeover.
The FTC has also asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to delay the closing of the deal pending the outcome of the appeal.
The US competition watchdog believes the merger between Whole Foods and Wild Oats would stifle competition and mean higher prices for consumers of natural and organic products.
On the other hand, Whole Foods has argued that it should be allowed to buy Wild Oats as it is now competing with mainstream retailers like Wal-Mart and Kroger who have expanded their organic offerings.
Whole Foods lawyer Paul Denis said the court’s decision to dismiss the FTC’s request was “firmly grounded in both the facts and the law” and the company is “confident” the merger will be allowed to go ahead.
“[The ruling] provides a detailed analysis of what is really happening in the marketplace,” Denis said.