Dem wants hearing on Amazon's bid for Whole Foods

Dem wants hearing on Amazon's bid for Whole Foods
© Greg Nash

A House Democrat is calling for a congressional hearing to take a closer look at Amazon's pending purchase of Whole Foods.

In a letter Thursday, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, asked Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteBooker wants more scrutiny of Amazon-Whole Foods merger Dem wants hearing on Amazon's bid for Whole Foods Surveillance reform déjà vu MORE (R-Va.) and Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-Pa.) to call a hearing on the $14 billion deal.

Cicilline said the deal "raises important questions concerning competition policy, such as how the transaction will affect the future of retail grocery stores, whether platform dominance impedes innovation, and if the antitrust laws are working effectively to ensure economic opportunity, choice, and low prices for American families.”

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The Rhode Island Democrat said he is not yet “taking a position on the legality” of Amazon’s bid for the high-end grocer.

“While several leading antitrust scholars have expressed doubt that the transaction will result in higher prices for consumers, it nevertheless occurs amidst waves of consolidation in recent decades that have decreased wages and resulted in gross inequality in the workplace,” Cicilline said, noting online retailer Amazon’s enormous size and reach.

Cicilline is not the first congressman to raise concerns about the deal. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), whose district covers Silicon Valley, said the resulting company could "engage in low-cost pricing and it is also going to put pressure on wages” and hurt local grocery stores.

A Judiciary Committee spokesperson said that a hearing on the deal is not scheduled at this time.