Amazon closes its acquisition of One Medical, but scrutiny of the deal is not over | CNN Business
Amazon closed its acquisition of health care provider One Medical and its parent in a $3.9 billion deal on Wednesday, hours after the Federal Trade Commission said it would not challenge the purchase but that regulators were still investigating the potential competitive and consumer harms of the transaction.
The landmark deal will turn the e-commerce giant into a primary care provider with access to more than 200 brick-and-mortar physician offices, along with approximately 815,000 One Medical members, according to One Medical’s latest financial statement company
The One Medical deal would also allow Amazon to expand its telehealth services and acquire valuable relationships with hospital systems, industry analysts said.
On Wednesday, Amazon said One Medical will offer new customers a $55 discount on annual memberships for a limited time.
“We’re on a mission to make it easier for people to find, choose, achieve and engage with the services, products and professionals they need to get and stay healthy, and teaming up with One Medical is a big step in the way. this journey,” Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said in a statement. “One Medical has set the bar for what a quality, convenient and affordable primary care experience should be. We are inspired by their human-centered approach to technology and are excited to help them continue to grow and serve more patients “.
But while Amazon can consummate the deal without the immediate threat of an FTC antitrust lawsuit, the agency is still investigating the acquisition and may still challenge the deal after the fact.
“The FTC’s investigation into Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical is ongoing,” said FTC spokesman Douglas Farrar. “The commission will continue to analyze the potential harms to competition created by this merger, as well as the potential harms to consumers that may result from Amazon’s control and use of sensitive consumer health information held by One Medical “.
The FTC plans to warn Amazon that it can close the deal at its own risk, an agency official said. Known as a “pre-consumer notice,” the FTC began sending these letters to merging companies in 2021 in response to a surge in proposed deals that threatened to overwhelm regulators’ investigative capacity.
The warning highlights the continued legal risk for Amazon and the potential concerns driving the FTC’s investigation. Concerns include not only Amazon’s potential to consolidate its economic dominance, but also fears that its acquisition of valuable health data could lead to the misuse of that information for other purposes, such as targeted advertising or e-commerce, the agency official said.
Amazon’s deal to acquire One Medical follows its 2018 purchase of online pharmacy service PillPack, which later became Amazon Pharmacy. Separately, Amazon partnered with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway in an effort to offer better health care and insurance at a lower cost to workers and families at the three companies, and possibly other companies as well. That effort, called Haven, closed in 2021.