The Government May Not Let Amazon's Big Deal with Whole Foods Happen

Megalith

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Yesterday, Amazon announced it would be acquiring Whole Foods Market in a deal valued at $13.7 billion. This partnership is expected to make online grocery shopping more of a ubiquitous reality, but it is bad news for anyone else that is in the business of selling groceries: both smaller, family-owned grocers and larger chains expect devastating impact from the merger. This has not gone unnoticed by the US government, which is being urged to conduct a review on the merger's legality and possible harm to the economy.

After the deal was announced, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) urged the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a review on the merger's legality and possible harm to the economy. "I am concerned about what this deal means for suppliers and neighborhood grocery stores," Khanna said in a statement. "The Justice Department and FTC must undertake a review that considers not just the merger's impact on prices, but also the impact on jobs and wages. We need to reorient antitrust policy to factor in the harm that economic concentration causes for American workers."
 

Burticus

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OH whatever. Walmart is running a virtual monopoly on most things retail and has put a shitload of smaller competitors out of business.

Oh but what about the poor grocery store chains? What, you mean all the ones owned by Kroger? Because Kroger owns them all. How is that not a monopoly?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kroger

And do not even get started on the telecom / cable companies.

Gov'ment needs to go felate itself on this one, OR step up to ALL of them. Flip a coin.
 

tbonepat11

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Lol Democrats worried about other small businesses....like Kroger.

If Amazon can bring the innovation and life changing way of shopping to retail. Bring it on.

Amazon Basics pharmaceuticals....lol
 
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Cyraxx

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We allow fucking Disney (#1 for theme parks, media, etc..) to own the likes of ESPN (largest and only dedicated sports channel), ABC (1 of 3 main news channels), and swathes of other fields, but we can't allow an online shopping portal to expand to be retail as well? As someone that works in the business world and is very critical of the likes of oligopolies (cable companies, cell-phone providers, etc...) all I can say is go fuck yourselves grocery stores.

Riddle me this - why is this not okay for Amazon but it is for Walmart?

This is just Walmart hitch men paying politicians so that they don't have to deal with grocery delivery to rural areas that they have a monopoly on.
 

Exavior

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Or Walmart.

OH whatever. Walmart is running a virtual monopoly on most things retail and has put a shitload of smaller competitors out of business.

Oh but what about the poor grocery store chains? What, you mean all the ones owned by Kroger? Because Kroger owns them all. How is that not a monopoly?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kroger

And do not even get started on the telecom / cable companies.

Gov'ment needs to go felate itself on this one, OR step up to ALL of them. Flip a coin.

When Walmart opened near you did you start to shop there or did you continue to shop at all the smaller places around you?
 

Cyraxx

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Or you know too big to fail banks....


to be honest, I kinda place fault on that on the american people. You have a choice of banks in any major urban city - yet for some reason people want stupid ass walk-in banks like Chase and Bank of America.

There are tons of online banks that pay WAY more interest, and are in general very easy to use to cater to people's needs.

Furthermore, if you really need a retail bank - I know of tons of close-by credit unions that serve their purpose just fine.
 

dandirk

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Yet they let things like cable, power etc have a 100% Monopoly

Lets forget those industries required infrastructure to each home, pretty much the main reason for why these oligopolies were allowed to begin with. Companies wouldn't put in all the power/cable lines if a customer was going to a competitor the following week.

A grocery store does not have the same infrastructure costs per customer.

You can have your opinion on either issue but please learn there is such thing as different situations and scenarios.
 

Ducman69

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This seems like such a weird marriage anyway.

Amazon is about cutting out the middle-man for the lowest possible warehouse style price possible. Convenience is a factor too, but primarily its about undercutting on costs and reducing overhead.

Whole Foods is the exact opposite, with massively overpriced commodities based primarily on "feels before reals" heavy marketing to convince people to spend 2-5x as much for the same damn thing.

How can these two brands marry one another? *scratches head*
 

Spidey329

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Look at it this way, if Amazon doesn't buy them then Kroger eventually will. They've bought up most grocery chains citing increased competition from Walmart as reason to acquire all of their competitors. Iirc, they own: Smith's, Food4Less, Kroger, Fred Meyer, and a metric ton of smaller chains.

It's essentially Kroger, Albertson's (they merged with Vons / Safeway), and Walmart. Albertson's doesn't even count, because they stopped trying years ago (their prices are always way higher than Smith's, so much that I'll drive an extra 3 miles past the Albertson's less than a mile away).

At this point, Amazon is less of the monopoly here.
 
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Blakestr

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This seems like such a weird marriage anyway.

Amazon is about cutting out the middle-man for the lowest possible warehouse style price possible. Convenience is a factor too, but primarily its about undercutting on costs and reducing overhead.

Whole Foods is the exact opposite, with massively overpriced commodities based primarily on "feels before reals" heavy marketing to convince people to spend 2-5x as much for the same damn thing.

How can these two brands marry one another? *scratches head*

I think Amazon is trying to tap into the type of person who shops at Whole Foods. These are the type who will actually spend money to say, if you are the type to pay ten bucks for peanut butter, you might be willing order a magic button that will order them detergent. Groceries are one of the last things that have no online business really has a good hold of beyond a few niches.
 

Exavior

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to be honest, I kinda place fault on that on the american people. You have a choice of banks in any major urban city - yet for some reason people want stupid ass walk-in banks like Chase and Bank of America.

There are tons of online banks that pay WAY more interest, and are in general very easy to use to cater to people's needs.

Furthermore, if you really need a retail bank - I know of tons of close-by credit unions that serve their purpose just fine.

but that is the same for most things. That is what I was trying to hit at with my above post. People bitch about how Walmart put everyone else out of business but it wasn't Walmart it was people that decided to stop shopping at the higher priced and smaller mom and pop businesses. Same for banks, people went after the larger named ones and avoided smaller banks.
 

McDork

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Walmart hasn't killed Kroger, so I don't think Amazon will. They might change things though with some new ideas. The competition will adapt.
 

cageymaru

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When Walmart opened near you did you start to shop there or did you continue to shop at all the smaller places around you?

I still shopped at the small places like my favorite bookstore, but everyone else went to Walmart. Then I ended up getting a college job at Walmart and started noticing the pricing of the books and periodicals. They always undercut the local bookstore by a few pennies. People would stand in Walmart and discuss the local news instead of going to the local bookstore. The local bookstore shutdown and Walmart raised all the prices to full retail. People started bitching and complaining. The prices never went down. The local bookstore owner laughed at them when they asked was he going to open again "to fight the scourge".

That was my experience. Same thing happened with the local TV shop that would come to your home and deliver your TV for free. Seen them drive 30+ miles to make a customer's day. Then they would repair your TV sometimes in your home. Satellite dish get offtrack? They would come out on a Saturday to fix it. Walmart killed them off.

We had a animal food store. It's the country so yes, there was a market. They sold everything from dog food to sulfur to get rid of pests. Walmart ran them out of business by undercutting them by a few pennies. Every time they reduced the price, Walmart reduced their price. Same thing as the bookstore; as soon as it shuttered Walmart raised their prices to full retail.

I could go on about the clothing stores and others. You get the picture. I RARELY walk into a Walmart nowadays. Only if they have something so cheap that nobody else can come close. I think I've been 3 times in the past decade. I did get a Samsung 6300 4K TV for $449 this year.
 

Cerulean

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OH whatever. Walmart is running a virtual monopoly on most things retail and has put a shitload of smaller competitors out of business.

Oh but what about the poor grocery store chains? What, you mean all the ones owned by Kroger? Because Kroger owns them all. How is that not a monopoly?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kroger

And do not even get started on the telecom / cable companies.

Gov'ment needs to go felate itself on this one, OR step up to ALL of them. Flip a coin.
Or on eyeglasses ... Luxottica
 

EODetroit

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If Walmart is allowed to exist, there's no reason why this merger can't happen. Whole Foods wasn't all that big and was downward trending. They'll allow it in the end, just wait and see. I might buy shares on the dip though, have to do some research now.
 

TrevorR

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It's apparent that some of you guys posting have never taken a course in economics and political science.
 

cyclone3d

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Or Walmart.

Most of the stuff at walmart is utter crap now days. We generally only buy a few specific things there. Almost all groceries come from other stores as well as most non-grocery things.

Walmart may have somewhat of a monopoly.. but most of that monopoly is on cheap chinese crap.

If you all want to buy crap that breaks soon after you buy it, go right ahead.
 

Burticus

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When Walmart opened near you did you start to shop there or did you continue to shop at all the smaller places around you?

So I live in a suburb of a huge city, Dallas. Walmart has always been here, so I don't have a "before" scenario. But when possible I always try to support local business. There's an art framing store that I go to for that stufff (more than you would think, wife is into crafts), liquor/wine store etc. I do go to walmart about once a month for sundries... boxed and canned goods, and cleaning supplies. They are just so much cheaper on cleaning supplies for some reason. But their produce is nasty, and I won't buy meat there. So I like to hit local grocery stores for fresh stuff, produce, deli, meat, etc. But that means Kroger (grocery monopoly) or Market Street (owned by Albertsons, a smaller grocery monopoly). We do try to go to farmers markets too when possible (fresh is nice, but cha-ching!). But in smaller towns where budgets are tight, Walmart tends to win.

So as far as Whole Foods goes... I don't shop there because they are ungodly expensive and I don't super care about "organic" everything. I know Amazon is trying to shore up their grocery delivery business, but I can't seem to connect the dots between wholesale grocery delivery and expensive organic everything Whole Foods. So there's some angle we don't know about.
 

steakman1971

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Look at it this way, if Amazon doesn't buy them then Kroger eventually will. They've bought up most grocery chains citing increased competition from Walmart as reason to acquire all of their competitors. Iirc, they own: Smith's, Food4Less, Kroger, Fred Meyer, and a metric ton of smaller chains.

It's essentially Kroger, Albertson's (they merged with Vons / Safeway), and Walmart. Albertson's doesn't even count, because they stopped trying years ago (their prices are always way higher than Smith's, so much that I'll drive an extra 3 miles past the Albertson's less than a mile away).

At this point, Amazon is less of the monopoly here.
Pretty sure Kroger was talking about buying Whole Foods last year? You are right - Kroger is a huge company and owns a lot of the grocery stores across the country.
 

Sufu

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Walmart is allowed to own a grocery store but not Amazon? I don't see how Amazon owning Whole Foods chain will change things.
 

snowcrash

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At least Whole Foods is smart enough to agree to the merger. When you get an offer of billions for your company, you do it. Stupid Groupon.
 
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Ducman69

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Walmart is allowed to own a grocery store but not Amazon? I don't see how Amazon owning Whole Foods chain will change things.
Amazon is allowed to do the same, but you have to grease the right wheels in government. Sadly, its just how things work where lobby money and campaign contributions and speaking fees and the like explain away how there are different rules for different players.
 

rudy

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There are many markets that have a severe lack of competition grocery stores is NOT one of them. Where we live we have so many different grocery stores I don't even understand how all of them stay in business.

Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, about 3 local small guys, Kroger, Meijer, Walmart, Aldi, I am sure I am forgetting something. And Amazon going after a high end player that sells really expensive food just doesn't worry me any. Oh no are they going to get a monopoly on off brand pop that cost $3.99 per bottle. What will I ever do, how about I just go to the small guy and buy some local made stuff that is also 3.99 per bottle.

Meanwhile I have only 1 internet service provider that isn't terrible and that is a relative term because I am saying that Comcast is not terrible.........
 

westrock2000

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Jeff Bezos being an asshole 24/7 to the CEO and cabinet members of the federal government isn't going to help.

And his position on the Richest People In The World list won't help either.
 

Uvaman2

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There are many markets that have a severe lack of competition grocery stores is NOT one of them. Where we live we have so many different grocery stores I don't even understand how all of them stay in business.

Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, about 3 local small guys, Kroger, Meijer, Walmart, Aldi, I am sure I am forgetting something. And Amazon going after a high end player that sells really expensive food just doesn't worry me any. Oh no are they going to get a monopoly on off brand pop that cost $3.99 per bottle. What will I ever do, how about I just go to the small guy and buy some local made stuff that is also 3.99 per bottle.

Meanwhile I have only 1 internet service provider that isn't terrible and that is a relative term because I am saying that Comcast is not terrible.........
Well that's you, and not always the case... However i do agree at the target market whole paycheck is, there is tons of competition... Matter of fact whole foods is pretty much irrelevant for me at least.. over priced even for ' organic' I think the real worry is that Amazon may actually make whole foods compete.
Also hate whole food cause they ruined wild oats... Whole Foods is shit.
 

Uvaman2

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I think this is to hurt C0stC0.
Nah, but costco should step down a little in prices of cheese and meats and other shit. Used to get more ' generic' looking products at Costco they changed a bit too much on that side.
 
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