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

Cleanup on aisle Biden

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

After two gaffes and a low blow from President Trump questioning his faith, Joe Biden spent Thursday evening off his own message — clarifying comments and responding to attacks.

Why it matters: Biden’s responses reflect what we could see a lot more of in the next few months — cringeworthy comments and Trump smears, smacking into each other and pulling the Democrat off course.

2020 election strategy: Hire all the lawyers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus has sent overall U.S. unemployment into the double digits — but it's a sort of full-employment act for election law attorneys.

The big picture: The prospect of extended court fights over COVID-19-related voting changes, an absentee ballot avalanche, foreign interference and contested presidential results has prompted a hire-all-the-lawyers binge by candidates and campaigns — not just in swing states but around the country.

Right-wing media defanged by dissolving anti-Biden storylines

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The three biggest anti-Joe Biden storylines in right-wing media over the last year have either fizzled or are getting less online traction than they used to, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: This dynamic has rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.