Skip to main content

In this merger-related case, the Federal Trade Commission sought to stop the merger of Whole Foods and Wild Oats on grounds that the merged entity would dominate the natural and organic foods market. The merging parties put in a survey used to demonstrate cross-shopping behavior between Whole Foods/Wild Oats and other larger grocery chains.

NERA experts Dr. Kent D. Van Liere and Sarah Butler were retained by the FTC to review the survey and assess its reliability and validity. Ultimately, Dr. Van Liere offered the opinion that the survey was not reliable due to issues in sample design, survey questions, and survey implementation.

The Judge in the case agreed with Dr. Van Liere’s assessment and gave the survey no weight in his decision.