Antitrust regulators approved Amazon's planned $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods shortly after the grocer's shareholders voted to approve the deal.The shareholders met at the grocery chain’s headquarters in Austin, Tex., early on Wednesday, and later that day, the Federal Trade Commission's acting director of its competition bureau, Bruce Hoffman, effectively approved the deal by ending a cursory investigation into any antitrust implications."Based on our investigation we have decided not to pursue this matter further,"Hoffman said. "Of course, the FTC always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should such action be warranted.”Even though the transaction itself doesn’t raise obvious antitrust red flags, there have been growing concerns over what effect the merger might have on other grocery stores.The current plan is for completion of the transaction by the end of 2017. The deal is still subject to other customary closing conditions.Amazon said in June that it would pay $42 a share in an all-cash deal that includes Whole Foods’ debt. The grocery chain, which has sales of $16 billion, has 460 stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Employees total 87,000 in number.When the proposed transaction was announced on June 16, Whole Foods cofounder and chief executive officer John Mackey said, “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”Mackey is slated to continue as ceo of the grocery chain, and its headquarters is expected to remain in Austin.Amazon has been expanding into different categories. It recently launched its own private-label brands, has inked deals with big names such as Nike and set up a box delivery program called Prime Wardrobe.The e-commerce market platform hasn’t had much success in the grocery business. The thinking among some is that Amazon could use some of the space in Whole Foods to provide space for either showcasing select items available at Amazon.com or for pick-up to help expand its same-day delivery distribution network. Others think Amazon might leave the business as is for now as it learns from Whole Foods how it manages day-to-day operations in a brick-and-mortar setting.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim