With all of this craziness in the economy, we'd almost forgottenthat Whole Foods has been trying to acquire Wild Oats Marketsfor...what? About 10 years now?Actually, the deal, which seems likeages ago, was only announcedin February 2007. Later that year the FTC started opposing thedeal, and now its come to Whole Foods filing a federal suit against the commission over itsantitrust investigation of the transaction."There's onlyone place where Whole Foods has a monopoly and that's in theimagination of the lawyers at the Federal Trade Commission," saysWhole Foods CEO John Mackey, according to a recentBloomberg. "How can a monopolist have negative same-store-sales? Are people starving to death now because there's no place toeat in America?"You tell 'em!But we think he has a point for a fewreasons. For one, Whole Foods might be the largest grocer of itskind out there, but a lot of other regional chains, likeWegmans and The Fresh Market are doingmany of the same things. And haven't you noticed that most, if notall, of the big national players have rolled out organic-typesections. Even freakin' WAL-MART sells "organic-cotton" cribs!Plus,if the Whole Foods-Wild Oats deal were announced today, would theformer even offer to pay close to $565 million for its rival'sstores?

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