(July 30, 11:54 a.m.) A federal appeals court overturned a U.S. District Court decision to allow the purchase of Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets by Whole Foods, nearly a year after the transaction was final.

According to the court’s decision filed July 29, the previous ruling did not adequately consider the niche “premium, natural and organic supermarket” category in which Whole Foods and Wild Oats operated.

The Federal Trade Commission had requested a preliminary injunction to block the merger, but it was allowed to proceed in August. The FTC continued the appeals process.

Allowing the merger created a monopoly in at least 18 markets, the court said, but it is unclear what remedy is applicable.

“Of course, neither court nor agency has found Whole Foods’ acquisition of Wild Oats to be unlawful,” the opinion said. “Therefore, the FTC may not yet claim the right to have any remedy necessary to undo the effects of the merger.”

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market Inc. has closed 12 of the former Wild Oats stores and sold 35 others under the Sun Harvest and Henry’s banners, according to an article in the Austin American-Statesman.

Wild Oats’ home office in Boulder has been converted to a Whole Foods regional office and former Wild Oats employees have either been reassigned or have left the company.

Whole Foods released a statement July 29 saying it was disappointed with the court’s decision and plans to review its legal options while it awaits the district court’s response.

“Meanwhile, it is business as usual,” it said.