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I shop at Whole Foods and I have made an investment in Whole Foods.  I am not an expert on the grocery industry, but I believe that Whole Foods makes a real effort to do business in an environmentally sustainable manner.  

Lately the price of Whole Food stock has been dropping, and there is a huge short position on the stock.  In the last quarterly statement Whole Foods made a profit of 1 cent, but their legal expenses were 6-8 cents.  Whole Foods Market paid substantially more in legal expenses than their earnings.

I understand that our society needs lawyers to function, and I also understand that some lawyers are very good people doing very good things for society.  But the bottom line is that the whole legal system is so corrupted by greed that lawyers deserve their bad reputation.  We have too many lawyers that all need to make a living and so the law has become twisted to support this great mass of lawyers.  

In this matter of Whole Foods the lawyers are stealing from me and society in general.  This is only one example in a whole very long list in almost every area of the law where the lawyers are stealing from society and thus stealing from you and me personally.

The complaint against Whole Foods is completely without merit.  Whole Foods is in some danger of going out of business exactly because of competition and the FTC is suing it for being anti-competitive.  Whole Foods and the people that shop at Whole Foods are made poorer by this litigation but the lawyers make tens of millions of dollars.

This case is not unusual.  Some time back the lawyers filed a class action lawsuit against Archer Daniels Midland on behalf of the shareholders.  The company paid for its defense in this case, so the company and its shareholders were basically just out and out paying graft to the lawyers.  I just happen to know the details of this particular case but this type of case is common.

I could easily go on and on with a lengthy enumeration of further  unrelated legal absurdities where the legal profession has lined their own pockets at the expense of the People.  The apologists for the lawyers will claim that this and that are just anomolies but on the whole the legal system is working just fine.

If the legal system is not a serious unreasonable burden on the American people, how can this Whole Foods legal quagmire be possible?
... ... ...
The Federal Trade Commission today approved a complaint challenging Whole Foods Market, Inc.’s approximately $670 million acquisition of its chief rival, Wild Oats Markets, Inc., and authorized the staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal district court to halt the deal pending an administrative trial on the merits. According to the complaint, the transaction would violate federal antitrust laws by eliminating the substantial competition between these two uniquely close competitors in numerous markets nationwide in the operation of premium natural and organic supermarkets. If the transaction continues unopposed, the FTC contends that Whole Foods is likely to raise prices and reduce quality and services unilaterally.

"Whole Foods and Wild Oats are each other’s closest competitors in premium natural and organic supermarkets, and are engaged in intense head-to-head competition in markets across the country," said Jeffrey Schmidt, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. "If Whole Foods is allowed to devour Wild Oats, it will mean higher prices, reduced quality, and fewer choices for consumers."

... ...

The Commission’s Complaint: The FTC’s complaint charges that Whole Foods’ acquisition of Wild Oats, as proposed, would violate Section 5 of the FTC Act and Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended. Through the transaction, Whole Foods, the largest premium natural and organic supermarket chain in the United States, would acquire its closest competitor and longtime rival, Wild Oats. In each of the markets in which they overlap, Whole Foods and Wild Oats are each other’s closest substitute and compete in quality and prices, according to the Commission. After the merger, Whole Foods likely would be able to raise prices unilaterally, to the detriment of customers of premium natural and organic supermarkets.

... ...


Originally posted to penguinsong on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 02:37 PM PST.

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