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FTC Seeks Hold Separate Order on Remand Against Whole Foods

Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : January 13, 2009

On January 12, 2009, the FTC sought a hold separate order against Whole Foods on remand from the D.C. Circuit’s reversal of the lower court’s denial of a preliminary injunction.  During the pendency of its administrative proceeding, the FTC seeks an order that enjoins Whole Foods from further integration of Wild Oats’ assets, rebranding of former Wild Oats stores and appointment of an independent trustee and management team to run the former Wild Oats stores. (Whole Foods Remand)   It is questionable whether such relief would be effective to restore competition if for example, Wild Oats lost key employees, a loyal customer base and a distribution network.  Prior coverage of the Whole Foods litigation appears on the July 29, 2008, December 1, 2008 and December 11, 2008 Posts.  This remand proposal is likely to spark Whole Foods to seek expedited relief in its lawsuit against the FTC challenging the fairness and integrity of the FTC’s administrative process.  (See December 11, 2008 Post)  On December 12, 2008, the FTC has moved to dismiss the Complaint in that action contending that only a U.S. Court of Appeals has subject matter jurisdiction because Congress only granted those courts the power to review the FTC’s actions.  (FTC Motion to Dismiss)

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