FTC to give cautious okay to Amazon’s $3.49 billion One Medical deal

Amazon’s $3.49 billion acquisition of primary care provider One Medical will not be blocked by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

While still having concerns over the deal, an FTC official said that the body would not file a complaint to stop the takeover. They said that the FTC will submit a pre-consummation warning letter which would specify concerns around the deal, and that it would watch for any potential harm to competition along with monitoring how consumer data is used.

The regulator however could still yet come down against the deal should its concerns not be addressed. Antitrust regulators have the power to file complaints to undo mergers that have closed, with the former FTC chairman Joseph Simons warning big tech firms that they could be broken up in 2020.

Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical will expand its virtual healthcare business with brick-and-mortar locations. The company has ambitions to disrupt the US healthcare industry in a similar fashion to how it has shaken up retail, and recently launched its RxPass prescription subscription service.

One Medical is active in over a dozen US markets, giving patients access to 24/7 virtual care. It currently serves around 8,500 company employees around the country.

While the FTC is not looking to stop Amazon’s takeover of One Medical, the regulator is probing its $1.7 billion acquisition of robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot and has been investigating its dominance of online retail.

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