Who Wants to Stop Amazon from Swallowing Whole Foods?
Fear of job losses
As rival bids are not coming up to challenge Amazon’s (AMZN) $13.7 billion buyout offer for Whole Foods (WFM), a regulatory review could pose a high hurdle for the deal. An industry workers union and some lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have pushed for thorough scrutiny of the Amazon–Whole Foods deal in response to a variety of concerns.
In a letter to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (or UFCW) claimed that the Amazon–Whole Foods deal could lead to a loss of retail jobs and unfavorable food prices for consumers. UFCW represents more than 1.0 million retail workers.
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Concern over food accessibility
A group of Congressional Democrats also wrote to the FTC, asking the agency to conduct a thorough review of Amazon’s proposal to acquire Whole Foods. The lawmakers cited concerns regarding accessibility to affordable healthy food once the deal closes.
While neither the UFCW nor the lawmakers have asked for outright rejection of the Amazon–Whole Foods deal, the issues they have raised could result in regulatory restrictions for Amazon even if it succeeds with the acquisition.
Retail job losses
Amazon has been criticized for contributing to widespread retail job losses, largely because of its automation of retail processes. Traditional retailers such as Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT), Sears (SHLD), Macy’s (M), and Finish Line (FINL) have been closing stores as they continue to lose market share to more efficient Internet rivals like Amazon and eBay (EBAY).