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07.17.17

Congressman Calls for Hearing on Amazon’s Whole Foods Bid

On this heels of its record-breaking Prime Day, during which sales were up more than 60 percent over last year, Amazon is facing antitrust concerns from the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee. U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (R.I.) is calling for a hearing on the e-commerce giant’s $13.7 billion bid to acquire brick-and-mortar specialty grocery chain Whole Foods.

The proposed merger could increase costs and decrease wages for Americans as a result of decreased competition in the marketplace, according to Rep. Cicilline.

“Competition is essential for a healthy economy. That’s true across the board. Amazon’s proposed purchase of Whole Foods could impact neighborhood grocery stores and hardworking consumers across America,” said Cicilline. “Congress has a responsibility to fully scrutinize this merger before it goes ahead. Failing to do so is a disservice to our constituents.”

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), the Congressman expressed concern that the deal may “discourage innovation and entrance into emerging markets, such as grocery and food delivery.”

Rep. Cicilline pointed to another prominent food company’s value being reduced by a third following the announcement of the deal, which also may threaten traditional retail grocers including Walmart, Kroger, Costco and Target, he wrote.

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