US: Lawmaker asks for antitrust hearing over Amazon-Whole Foods deal

The top Democrat on the US House of Representatives’ antitrust subcommittee, Rep. David Cicilline (RI), has voiced concerns about Amazon.com’s US$13.7 billion plan to buy Whole Foods Market and is pushing for a hearing to look into the deal’s impact on consumers.

The deal announced in June marks the biggest acquisition for the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon has not said what it would do with Whole Foods’ stores and other assets, but analysts and investors worry the deal could upend the landscape for grocers, food delivery services and meal-kit companies.

Mr. Cicilline requested the hearing on Thursday in a letter to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the subcommittee chairman.

“Amazon’s proposed purchase of Whole Foods could impact neighborhood grocery stores and hardworking consumers across America,” the Rhode Island Democrat said in a statement. “Congress has a responsibility to fully scrutinize this merger before it goes ahead.”

The deal must be approved by US antitrust enforcers, most likely the Federal Trade Commission.

Full Content: Geek Wire

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