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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos arrives for a meeting with then-President Elect Donald Trump. (Evan Vucci / AP)

The Federal Trade Commission is done vetting Amazon's proposed acquisition of Whole Foods, it said Wednesday, allowing the $13.7 billion deal to clear a key a regulatory obstacle. The companies hope it will close this year; Whole Foods shareholders approved it earlier in the day.

"Based on our investigation we have decided not to pursue this matter further," said Bruce Hoffman, the acting director of the agency's Bureau of Competition, in a statement. "Of course, the FTC always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should such action be warranted."

Details: The agency evaluated whether the merger of the organic grocer and online retail powerhouse "substantially lessened competition" or "constituted an unfair method of competition."

Bigger picture: Critics of Amazon say it has gotten too big and should be subject to antitrust scrutiny. But it was always doubtful that this deal would be the field where that battle is fought.

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
2 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.