Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Federal Trade Commission v. Whole Foods Market, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
548 F.3d 1028 (2008)


Facts

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods) and Wild Oats Markets, Inc. (Wild Oats) (defendants) were grocery-store chains. Whole Foods and Wild Oats specialized as premium, natural, and organic supermarkets. Whole Foods and Wild Oats were the two largest premium-supermarket chains in the United States. These premium supermarkets stressed environmental values and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. For Whole Foods, 68 percent of the company’s customers shared those values. In 2007, Whole Foods announced it would acquire Wild Oats. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (plaintiff) sued to block the merger under § 7 of the Clayton Act. The FTC argued that Whole Foods and Wild Oats competed with each other in the premium-supermarket submarket. Whole Foods argued the relevant product market included all supermarkets, including conventional supermarkets that did not specialize in organic and natural products. The FTC’s expert focused on the whether Wild Oats customers would switch to a conventional supermarket or another premium supermarket if Wild Oats closed. The FTC’s expert said that most customers of Wild Oats would switch to Whole Foods rather than a conventional supermarket. The FTC also presented evidence that Whole Foods charged customers higher prices in locations that did not have a Wild Oats nearby. Similarly, when a new premium supermarket opened in a certain area, prices at other premium supermarkets dropped. By contrast, the opening of a new conventional supermarket did not influence premium-supermarket prices. The district court nonetheless held that the FTC had not demonstrated that the relevant submarket was premium supermarkets. The district court denied the FTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The FTC appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Concurrence (Tatel, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Dissent (Kavanaugh, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 219,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.