Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market in earth-shaking, $13.7-billion deal – Los Angeles Times

Dropping a bombshell on the U.S. grocery industry, online shopping giant Amazon.com Inc. said Friday it has agreed to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion in cash.

The deal’s announcement instantly sparked a selloff in the stocks of other major U.S. supermarket and big-box chains on expectations that Amazon would bring its low-price expertise and technology prowess to bear with Whole Foods, putting further downward pressure on prices in the already hyper-competitive, $611-billion U.S. grocery industry.

“This is an earthquake rattling through the grocery sector,” Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said in a note to clients.

“We can only imagine the technology innovation that Amazon will bring to the purchasing experience for the consumer,” he said.

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