Amazon’s $13.7 billion planned purchase of Whole Foods Market moved past two potential obstacles today as the Federal Trade Commission said it would allow the deal to proceed and Whole Foods shareholders voted to approve it.
“The FTC conducted an investigation of this proposed acquisition to determine whether it substantially lessened competition under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, or constituted an unfair method of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act,” Bruce Hoffman, the acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition said in a statement. “Based on our investigation we have decided not to pursue this matter further.”
“Of course, the FTC always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should such action be warranted,” Hoffman added.
Separately, Whole Foods held a shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas, where investors voted to approve the acquisition. Whole Foods shareholders will receive $42 in cash for each share of the grocery-retail chain they own.
While the proposed acquisition was unlikely to meet any resistance from shareholders (given the price), Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos have faced a barrage of criticism from President Trump, prompting some concerns that the deal could face at least lengthy scrutiny from regulators.
Amazon shares were up 0.1 percent at $958.00 in after-hours trading following the FTC’s announcement, while shares of Whole Foods were up 0.7 percent at $41.97.