With all of this craziness in the economy, we’d almost forgotten that Whole Foods has been trying to acquire Wild Oats Markets for…what? About 10 years now?Actually, the deal, which seems like ages ago, was only announced in February 2007. Later that year the FTC started opposing the deal, and now its come to Whole Foods filing a federal suit against the commission over its antitrust investigation of the transaction. “There’s only one place where Whole Foods has a monopoly and that’s in the imagination of the lawyers at the Federal Trade Commission,” says Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, according to a recent Bloomberg. “How can a monopolist have negative same-store- sales? Are people starving to death now because there’s no place to eat in America?”You tell ‘em!But we think he has a point for a few reasons. For one, Whole Foods might be the largest grocer of its kind out there, but a lot of other regional chains, like Wegmans and The Fresh Market are doing many of the same things. And haven’t you noticed that most, if not all, of the big national players have rolled out organic-type sections. Even freakin’ WAL-MART sells “organic-cotton” cribs!Plus, if the Whole Foods-Wild Oats deal were announced today, would the former even offer to pay close to $565 million for its rival’s stores?

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