U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), the top Democrat on the House of Representative's Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, has pushed for the group to hold a hearing on Amazon.com's ( AMZN) acquisition of Whole Foods Market ( WFM) , Reuters reports.
Cicilline requested the hearing in a letter to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and the subcommittee chairman.
"Amazon's proposed purchase of Whole Foods could impact neighborhood grocery stores and hardworking consumers across America," Cicilline said in a statement. "Congress has a responsibility to fully scrutinize this merger before it goes ahead."
The deal must be approved by U.S. antitrust enforcers, most likely the Federal Trade Commission.
While Congress plays no formal role in the process of approving the deal, hearings are often used to highlight the possible impact of deals on consumers.
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More issues for food makers: As if food makers such as Kraft Heinz (KHC) and grocery retailers like Kroger (KR) and Walmart (WMT) didn't have enough issues on their plate thanks to Amazon's (AMZN) advances.
A significant demographic headwind could add further pressure on the packaged food and grocery store sectors in the years ahead, according to Wolfe Research analyst Scott Mnushkin. The U.S. government reported recently that the fertility rate in the U.S. (births per 1,000 women) hit a record low of 62.0 in 2016, with the number of births down about 1% from the prior year. With births declining and immigration slowing, population growth in the U.S. has stalled.