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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Amazon completes One Medical merger with FTC approval; offers membership discounts

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The acquisition, announced in July, provides the online store with physical locations where customers may obtain medical treatment for the first time, in addition to a virtual health service.

Amazon completed its $3.9 billion acquisition of health care provider One Medical and its parent company, only hours after the Federal Trade Commission stated it would not dispute the purchase but was still examining potential competition and consumer concerns.

According to the latest financial statement from One Medical, the historic merger would transform the e-commerce behemoth into a provider of primary medical care with access to more than 200 brick-and-mortar doctors’ offices and around 815,000 One Medical members.

According to industry observers, the One Medical acquisition would also help Amazon to extend its telemedicine offerings and gain key partnerships with hospital systems.

For a limited period, Amazon said One Medical will offer new customers a $55 discount on yearly memberships.

But, while Amazon may complete the transaction without fear of an FTC antitrust suit, the agency is still reviewing the acquisition and may dispute it after the fact.

According to an FTC official, the agency intends to warn Amazon that it may seal the transaction at its own peril. The FTC began delivering such letters to merging corporations in 2021, in response to a rise in proposed mergers that threatened to overwhelm regulators’ investigation capabilities.

The warning emphasises Amazon’s ongoing legal risk as well as the possible issues fueling the FTC investigation.

Concerns include not just Amazon’s potential economic supremacy, but also worries that its purchase of vital health data would lead to the exploitation of that information for other purposes, such as targeted advertising or e-commerce, according to an agency official.

Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical followed its purchase of the online pharmaceutical business PillPack in 2018, which was later renamed Amazon Pharmacy. Separately, Amazon joined together with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to deliver better health care and insurance at a reduced cost to employees and families at the three firms, as well as perhaps other businesses. Haven, the initiative, will end in 2021.

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