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FTC Continues Attempt To Block Whole Foods/Wild Oats Deal

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Federal regulators are continuing legal efforts to block Whole Foods Market Inc.'s $565 million takeover of rival Wild Oats despite the deal closing in late August.

The Federal Trade Commission tried to block the deal earlier this year on antitrust grounds. A federal district court ruled against the agency in August. The FTC appealed that ruling, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to halt the transaction involving the nation's two largest natural and organic food grocers.

Federal regulators usually end litigation after a deal is completed, because they can be difficult or impossible to unwind. In a recent case involving oil and gas refiners in the southwest, the FTC threw in the towel after the courts ruled the company combo was legal.