Aug 23, 2017

Amazon-Whole Foods deal clears key hurdle

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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 691,867 — Total deaths: 32,988 — Total recoveries: 146,613.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 125,433 — Total deaths: 2,201 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week.
  6. World updates: Italy reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Fauci suggests death toll could top 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN Sunday that models suggest COVID-19 will infect millions of Americans and could kill 100,000–200,000, though he stressed that the projections are "such a moving target."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, reported influxes of cases on Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 41 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 32,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 32,000 people around the world — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections, with more than 125,000 by noon on Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. surpassed on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health