In the 1970s, oil behemoths, then kings of the corporate world, bought up department stores, beef canners and even the Barnum and Bailey Circus. But is it now the turn of the big five U.S. tech companies to snap up some economic prizes?

What was most surprising about Amazon's stunning $13 billion acquisition of Whole Foods last week was its juxtaposition with CEO Jeff Bezos' years of denunciations — and destruction — of brick-and-mortar retail chains. And people sense it may signal the front end of a wave of legacy sector acquisitions:

  • We already have Silicon Valley moving in on Detroit's turf, creating a tense contest for who will dominate self-driving transportation.
  • But to the degree the Whole Foods acquisition is not an anomaly, don't look for the tech giants to mimic the oil companies of yore, and venture far from their core businesses.
  • Amazon is also unlikely to conduct a massive firing of workers, which would undermine the Whole Foods brand.

What seems informative is Bezos's 2013 acquisition of the Washington Post, which met immediate consternation that he would strip the paper to make it more profitable. Instead, he poured cash in, and the paper is turning out some of its best journalism in years.

Be smart: That's why it seems best to ignore forecasts that Amazon will dramatically change Whole Foods culture, its fare, and operating style. Instead, he will want to embrace Whole Foods high-end quality brand, and hope it washes over onto cut-rate Amazon reputation.

Capgemini's Shannon Warner, a retail consultant, tells Axios that Bezos will likely use Whole Foods to figure out how to make grocery shopping feel like less of a chore. If he can crack that problem, she said, "people will embrace it overnight." And that will be a critical moment for other grocery chains, which "waited too long and no longer have the capital to invest and survive."

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 18,185,015 — Total deaths: 691,303 — Total recoveries — 10,836,439Map.
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  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.