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Government Businesses The Almighty Buck

FTC Approves Amazon's Acquisition of Whole Foods (cnbc.com) 54

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: The Federal Trade Commission will allow Amazon to continue its $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods. The FTC conducted an investigation to gauge whether the merger would decrease competition under federal regulations, Bruce Hoffman, acting director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement Wednesday. It ultimately decided not to pursue the matter further. Whole Foods shareholders approved Amazon's acquisition deal hours before the FTC's announcement.The two companies expect to finalize the agreement during the second half of the year. However, source familiar with the matter told CNBC the deal could happen sooner rather than later.
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FTC Approves Amazon's Acquisition of Whole Foods

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  • And so... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Free Market Capitalism dies a little more today, as a single company marches on its way to multifaceted sales monopolies across dozens of industries.

    • First they came for Zappos, and I did not speak out—
      Because I rarely buy shoes, and definitely not online.

      Then they came for Audible, and I did not speak out—
      Because I don't listen to audio books.

      Then they came for Whole Foods, and I did not speak out—
      Because I do not buy overpriced food.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Then they came for me—and decided I wasn't worth buying.

        FTFY

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What melodramatic schlock. "Oh, woe is me, I'll have to shop at Safeway or Kroger or Food City or Food 4 Less or Sprouts or Natural Grocers or Trader Joes or Bashes or US foods or Costco or Walmart or Target or any number of the Asian markets around here if I don't like Amazon. Competition is sooo diminished, Amazon totally has a monopoly on food now!"

  • ... yellow brick mortar.

    • Wrong, Hello! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @06:00PM (#55072173)

      Amazon buying Whole Foods is breathing new life into a dying (or at least stagnant) industry. How has grocery shopping for you changed over the last several decades? Answer: it hasn't. Amazon just by not being the same old way of doing business, will probably change all grocery stores for the better.

      Amazon is amazingly adept at moving product around in a timely manner at low costs. How can that NOT make a grocery experience better?

      Also have to admit I'm looking forward to my free cantaloupe for being a Prime member... :-)

      • by DogDude ( 805747 )
        Amazon just by not being the same old way of doing business, will probably change all grocery stores for the better.

        What makes you say that? You DO realize that Amazon's business model is selling all of your personal data to the highest bidder, right? How would that improve a grocery shopping experience?
        • How much is my data actually worth? Google has it, Facebook has it, and I'm pretty sure the government has all of that, and then some. Just about everyone out there has it that wants it.

          My info is a commodity, and as such is only valuable in aggregate with other people's data.

          • My info is a commodity, and as such is only valuable in aggregate with other people's data.

            You mean, it's only valuable to other people in aggregate (although that's not entirely true, I'll go with it).

            To me, my info is priceless.

        • this, a thousand times this.

          I'd prefer it if the retailer and I went our separate ways after i give them money for item(s).

          I really don't need a detailed list of my purchases persisting for all eternity, and used in annoying attempts to entice me to buy more shit in the future (which i more than likely don't need to begin with.)

          • I'd prefer it if the retailer and I went our separate ways after i give them money for item(s).

            A million times this. I prefer it so strongly that I tend to pay cash and I don't use "loyalty cards". I even try to avoid shopping at store that do, since they tend to price their stuff higher than stores that don't.

        • I walk into my grocery store, I pick out my food, I put it in my basket or cart, I go to the checkout, I get my purchases rung up, I pull out some cash - and I go away. What personal data do they have? They know that a single person bought items XY and Z, but other than that?
      • What is wrong with grocery shopping as it is now? They have what I want, it's up to date and the produce is fresh.

        If we follow the Amazon way, the grocery experience will be that you walk into the grocery store and half the time what you want will be replaced by a slightly cheaper brand you never heard of. It won't taste the same, but close. Next time you see the brand name food you really like, but because a knock-off made it into inventory it tastes disgusting, or it is recalled before you get home with i

        • What is wrong with grocery shopping as it is now? They have what I want, it's up to date and the produce is fresh.

          You have to walk or drive to the store, walk around for half and hour, and walk home. It's not terrible, which is why grocery stores are such a common thing. But on some level, it's wasted time. If you could get somebody to drop it off at the house for the same price, why not?

          Same as with retail shopping. It's not that driving to Best Buy and picking up a laptop is so bad. It's just that sh

          • by Higaran ( 835598 )
            I'm sorry but hasn't Peapod been around forever. O let me see it was founded in 1989 and had been delivering groceries you buy online since the 90's. So please tell me how amazon is going to revolutionize grocery shopping with the internet again.
            • I'm sorry but hasn't Peapod been around forever. O let me see it was founded in 1989 and had been delivering groceries you buy online since the 90's. So please tell me how amazon is going to revolutionize grocery shopping with the internet again.

              Well, for one thing Amazon will probably serve my region.

          • They have what I want, it's up to date and the produce is fresh.

            You have to walk or drive to the store, walk around for half and hour, and walk home. It's not terrible, which is why grocery stores are such a common thing. But on some level, it's wasted time. If you could get somebody to drop it off at the house for the same price, why not

            Delivery only addresses part of the grocery buying task, but it diminishes another part of the task, which is the competition in the store itself on qualty:

            Do you just pick the first banana or lettuce or whatever off the shelf, or do you pick around to get not-the-worst one in the pile? What do you think will happen to the quality if the store is the chooser and not you?

            • it diminishes another part of the task, which is the competition in the store itself on qualty

              This.

              If I have a friend who knows me very well do my shopping for me, I expect that I'm not going to get the exact item I want (mostly with produce). It impossible that a store or delivery service would do that job any better, and would be amazing if they did it equally as well as my friend.

          • But on some level, it's wasted time. If you could get somebody to drop it off at the house for the same price, why not?

            You can do that right now in most places. Not for the same price, but if grocery stores themselves do it for the same price, that's only because they've raised their prices across the board.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          How about not looking at styles of grocery shopping but rather than just as the size of a corporation is it too big to safely have in an economy, should limited liability laws end, when capital worth of a corporations is too great, should share holders be then liable for those debts rather than the general public. Why private profits and socialise losses. Once a corporations goes past a billion dollars, should not the share holders be liable for it's debts rather than the general public. Break up or take so

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

        How has grocery shopping for you changed over the last several decades?

        Well today I put my order in on a website, schedule a time, go to the store, and a helpful person brings my order out and puts it in my car. Or if I'm feeling really lazy, I open up an app, put in my order, schedule a time, and a helpful person brings my groceries right to my front door. I'd say that's a pretty big change, no Amazon required.

      • How has grocery shopping for you changed over the last several decades? Answer: it hasn't.

        Mostly true, but what needs changing? I need groceries, I go to the store, pick them out, and pay for them. If I don't want to get out of my chair, there are numerous delivery services that will get my groceries for me and bring them to my home.

        I'm not really seeing an unmet need that makes grocery stores prime for disruption.

      • There is nothing "dying" or "stagnant" about the sector, which has seen explosive growth in the past ten years.

        In fact, economically healthy centers like Denver and the Twin Cities are now overcrowded. There's been hypertrophic growth -- a very sharp and necessary correction is on its way.

        Amazon's role in what will transpire is much more complex than your surmise about appy-fappy excitement to come.

        By leveraging its clout and market-backed power (if not its own broken business model), Amazon may exercise va

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm gonna celebrate by shoving gourmet macaroni-and-cheese up my anus at $10 per pound!!!!

  • an alliteration a day keeps the ailments away.
  • My rubber stamp inked up.

    APPROVED!

    A hearty "thank you" goes out to the FTC for the latest atrocity.

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @06:45PM (#55072397)

    Whole Foods has a very tiny market share in groceries. There's no reason to block the deal because the grocery market is super competitive.

    The FTC is a legal enforcement agency. They don't use internet conspiracy theories or grudges in their decision making. They can't make up a dystopian fairy tale to decide things like this.

    • Supermarket industry is super competitive but also very fragile. I've seen chains disappear, stores go out of business from over-supply and lots of turn-over for the retail spaces made for them. If Amazon can disrupt, it could be a bigger deal than you think.
      • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

        Supermarket industry is super competitive but also very fragile. I've seen chains disappear, stores go out of business from over-supply and lots of turn-over for the retail spaces made for them.

        Antitrust law protects competitive markets, not existing competitors.

    • I agree. Whole Foods is an extremely specialized sort of store that can't really compete with ordinary ones (that's why they were on the block). The monopoly risk seems low.

Heisenberg may have been here.

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