This June, Amazon announced that it was purchasing Whole Foods for a whopping $13.7 billion dollars, the internet retailer’s biggest deal ever, with the price tag also including all debts that the supermarket chain held. The deal meant that Amazon would gain control over all 465 Whole Foods stores across North America and the United Kingdom. For the deal to be made official, it needed to clear two major hurdles. It had to get approved by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and shareholders at Whole Foods.
However, Amazon cleared both of those hurdles yesterday as it received approval from the FTC and the shareholders at the supermarket chain. Early Wednesday morning, shareholders at Whole Foods held a meeting at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, where they agreed to the sale.
Later on in the day the FTC also announced their ruling on the issue. In a statement, they announced that an investigation would not be pursued into the proposed merger between the two companies after further reviewing the deal and how it would affect competition. With those two potential speed bumps out of the way, Amazon is now on track to finalize their purchase of Whole Foods. Both companies released a joint statement today that the deal would be finalized on Monday.
However, that joint statement talked about more than just the date for the finalization of the merger. Amazon has already announced that they plan to make sweeping changes to Whole Foods pricing by immediately cutting it. The joint statement said that “The two companies will together pursue the vision of making Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone.”
It went on to say that “Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices starting Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores.” Amazon added that it will look to continue to lower prices on items in Whole Foods stores in the future. The internet giant also said that at some point down the road, Amazon Prime members will have access to not only special discounts but also in-store benefits at Whole Foods.
It was emphasized by Amazon, however, that lower prices at Whole Foods will not mean a lower quality of food. As Amazon Worldwide Consumer Chief Executive Jeff Wilke said, “we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards.”
[Featured Image by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]