With Whole Foods, Amazon on Collision Course with Wal-Mart

CHICAGO/SAN FRANCISCO - When Wal-Mart Stores Inc. bought online retailer Jet.com for $3 billion last year, it marked a crucial moment - the world's largest brick-and-mortar retailer, after years of ceding e-commerce leadership to arch rival Amazon, intended to compete.

On Friday, Amazon.com Inc. countered. With its $14 billion purchase of grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc., the largest e-commerce company announced its intention to take on Wal-Mart in the brick-and-mortar world.

The two...

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