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Whole Foods shareholders say yes to Amazon deal

NEW YORK — Whole Foods shareholders voted to bless a union with Amazon that the organic grocery chain’s CEO called “love at first sight.”

The approval from Whole Foods shareholders on Wednesday is one of the steps required to close the deal. It also needs the go-ahead from government regulators.

Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. has said it expects the deal to close before the end of the year.

Before agreeing to the $13.7 billion offer, Whole Foods had been under intense shareholder pressure to improve results and retain customers who have more choices about where to get natural foods.

Amazon announced plans to buy Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market Inc. in June. The takeover would give the e-commerce giant more than 460 Whole Foods stores and the possibility of making big changes to the supermarket industry.