Whole Foods Market, Inc. has reportedly withdrawn from U.S. district court its due process challenge to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust proceedings against the company’s merger with Wild Oats Markets, Inc. The case was then refiled before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to a Whole Foods executive, “Whole Foods Market is interested in getting to the merits of this case as quickly as possible rather than spending everyone’s valuable time and resources arguing about jurisdiction. Filing with the Court of Appeals, which the FTC concedes has jurisdiction over the case, saves time and we want to move this case forward in the most expeditious manner for all concerned.” Additional details about Whole Foods’ petition appear in issue 285 of this Update. The FTC’s administrative hearings are scheduled to
begin April 6, 2009, and Whole Foods claims that the commission has already prejudged the case. See PR Newswire, January 15, 2009.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.