When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

15 August 2007

I'm going to have sanction you for "word processing while clueless"

The FTC spills the beans on Whole Foods' acquisition strategy, including a plan to contain Wal-Mart as they move into the organic grocery space... via a very elementary editing error while using Microsoft Word (and, presumably, Acrobat or something like it to create distributable PDFs.)

The Associated Press loves it:

Many of the details in the documents, which FTC lawyers filed electronically, were not meant to be released publicly, but words intended to be redacted were actually just electronically shaded black. The words could be searched, copied, pasted and read in versions downloaded from court computer servers.

Court officials realized the mistake and replaced the filing with a version using scanned pages of the redacted documents. Like covering up parts of a page with black paper before photocopying, there is no way to remove the blacked-out portions from the final copy.

The Associated Press downloaded the document from the public server before it was replaced by a properly redacted version.

In a statement late Tuesday, Whole Foods said it was investigating the "apparent improper release by the Federal Trade Commission of confidential proprietary business information."

"All information shared with the FTC was done so with the reasonable understanding that it would be handled appropriately," the statement said.

FTC spokesman Mitchell Katz declined to comment on the matter.

FTC's Whole Foods Case Revealed (AP, via Yahoo News)

I'll bet.

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