Government lawyers say the chief executive of Whole Foods Market told his board that the purchase of a rival could eliminate the competitor.
The feds say John Mackey talked about what would happen if Texas-based Whole Foods bought its leading rival.
The feds say Mackey also said that buying Boulder, Colorado-based Wild Oats Markets would let Whole Foods "avoid nasty price wars" in several cities where the two compete.
Details are in a court document unsealed today.
Federal Trade Commission lawyers reported the comments in a request this month for a temporary injunction to block Whole Foods from buying Wild Oats.
A federal judge approved the request.
Whole Foods this week extended its tender offer for Wild Oats through July 20.
Another delay could be coming because a hearing in the lawsuit has been scheduled for July 31.