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Online retail giant Amazon is buying US fine foods, fairtrade and organic retailer Whole Foods in a $13.7bn (£10.7bn) deal that marks its biggest push into high street retailing yet.

Amazon, which has been experimenting with selling groceries both here and in the US, will buy the upmarket supermarket for $42 a share.

Founded in 1978 in Texas, Whole Foods was a pioneer of the move towards natural and organic foods.

It has grown to more than 460 stores in the US, Canada and the UK, and employs about 87,000 people. Its nine UK outlets are…