U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman was right to deny the Federal Trade Commission's bid to block Whole Foods' acquisition of Wild Oats ["Whole Foods Gets Its Monopoly," Business, Aug. 19].
Whole Foods--just like any other business--has a moral right to expand its activities and run its operations as it sees fit. And the shareholders of Wild Oats should be free to sell their shares to Whole Foods if they think it is a good deal.
Whole Foods violates no one's rights by buying shares from willing sellers in a trade for mutual benefit. The government, on the other hand, by interfering in a voluntary trade between two parties, violates the rights of both.
If the merger ends up resulting in higher prices and reduced quality at Whole Foods and Wild Oats, as the FTC dubiously claims, these stores will lose many of their customers to other supermarket chains that offer lower prices and better quality. As long as consumers are free to shop where they want, stores should be free to merge as they please.