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US: Senator wonders about FTC’s quick approval of Amazon-Whole Foods deal

 |  August 27, 2017

On Friday Senator Amy Klobuchar (Democrat, Minnesota) questioned the Federal Trade Commission’s quick approval of Amazon.com Inc’s purchase of Whole Foods Market Inc this week, less than three months after the US$13.7 billion deal was announced.

On Wednesday the FTC said that it had ended its antitrust investigation without seeking a second request for additional information on a deal that has sent shock waves through the grocery industry.

Senator Klobuchar said in a statement that she was concerned about the FTC’s decision to “not fully review” the deal, which was announced on June 16.

“Amazon’s increased access to data on consumers and their behavior, and its dominance in internet retail sales, raises questions about whether this merger harms consumers and suppresses competition,” she said.

Klobuchar said she would ask the FTC to explain why it made such a quick decision.

Seattle-based Amazon declined to comment. The FTC did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

After getting the approval of the FTC and Whole Foods shareholders this week, Amazon said on Thursday that it planned to complete the acquisition on August 28 and simultaneously introduce lower prices on some grocery staples.

The world’s biggest online retailer also said it planned to start selling some Whole Foods-branded products on its website and offer incentives to its Prime members at Whole Foods stores.

Full Content: The Hill

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