For free? Well, if you consider the increase in market capitalization that Amazon is seeing midday, the answer is yes.
Here’s the math:
Amazon is paying $13.7 billion in cash for Whole Foods.
Amazon’s stock was up roughly $32 and change mid-morning. There are 478 million shares outstanding, so Amazon’s market cap has appreciated by about $15.6 billion today.
So, you could argue, they are getting Whole Foods for free, and pocketing $1.9 billion as well.
By the way, here’s the joke going around trading desks on Wall Street: “Jeff Bezos said to Alexa, ‘Buy me something from Whole Foods,’ and Alexa bought Whole Foods.”