The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reverses the denial of a preliminary injunction sought by an undertaking against a merger in the organic food sector (Whole Foods / Wild Oats)

On July 29, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the denial of a preliminary injunction sought by the FTC against a merger of Whole Foods Market, Inc. and Wild Oats Markets, Inc., in a ruling that significantly lowers the bar for the FTC to obtain preliminary injunctions to block mergers, at least in the D.C. Circuit. [1] The Court of Appeals held that, under Federal Trade Commission Act § 13(b), [2] the FTC had raised enough questions about the merits of its case against the merger, notwithstanding the fact that it presented “at best, poorly explained evidence.” Although the merger was consummated in August 2007, the Court held that the case was not moot and some appropriate remedy could still be fashioned. The 2-1 decision was written by Judge Brown, with Judge

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Authors

  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)

Quotation

Steven C. Sunshine, Clifford H. Aronson, Matthew P. Hendrickson, The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reverses the denial of a preliminary injunction sought by an undertaking against a merger in the organic food sector (Whole Foods / Wild Oats), 29 July 2008, e-Competitions July 2008, Art. N° 45575

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