Organic grocery chain Whole Foods closed its acquisition of smaller rival Wild Oats ages ago, but for some reason the FTC has continued to dog the company over a misguided anti-trust claim.
The initial acquisition did face anti-trust concerns — that the new company would corner the organic foods market — but it was allowed to clear. Still, the FTC has persisted all these years.
So finally it’s resolved, and the basic gist is that Whole Foods has to divest the Wild Oats brand name and intellectual property, which they’re not using anymore. So in theory, another company could snap that up and call itself Wild Oats and try to fight against the goliath. That seems like a longshot business idea to us, and Whole Foods is probably happy to do this just to have it all over with.