Amazon Upends Grocers With Acquisition of Whole Foods

Amazon.com Inc.’s surprise decision to spend $13.7 billion on Whole Foods Market Inc. will likely be a boon for consumers, but it was no picnic for many of its rivals on Friday. Shares of supermarket operators from Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to smaller peers Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. and distributor United Natural Foods Inc., tumbled after the announcement. The widespread losses — which spread to chains in Canada and Europe — are a further indication that an industry already squeezed by price pressures could now be set for major disruption.

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