Amazon’s months-long effort to acquire One Medical is finished — for now, at least. The company has officially completed its $3.9 billion purchase, giving it a primary healthcare provider with in-person and virtual treatment as well as lab tests. The successful buyout isn’t leading to any immediate changes in One Medical’s services beyond a temporary $55 discount on a one-year membership (now $144), but Amazon said last July that it planned a “reinvention” of healthcare with the takeover.
The completion comes just a day after the Federal Trade Commission said it wouldn’t contest the buyout. However, the regulator also says it’s still investigating the deal to explore potential anti-competitive effects and privacy concerns raised by Amazon’s access to health data. An FTC official told CNN the agency will warn Amazon it’s closing the purchase at its own risk, and might still face a government challenge later.
Amazon has spent years making deeper forays into healthcare. It bought PillPack in 2018 and used the provider to launch an in-house pharmacy service. The online shopping heavyweight also introduced an app-based health service for employees in 2019 that it later offered to other companies. In 2021, the company introduced a custom Alexa for healthcare. The One Medical move theoretically completes the picture by letting Amazon handle everything from minor doctor’s appointments through to prescriptions.
Whether or not Amazon could endure an FTC challenge isn’t clear. Commission chair Lina Khan is known to be wary of Big Tech, and her stance even prompted Amazon to ask for her recusal from antitrust cases. There’s no certainty the FTC might succeed, though, and it recently lost an effort to block Meta’s purchase of Within. One Medical is considerably larger than Within, though, and its healthcare focus brings up privacy concerns that aren’t always present in tech acquisitions.
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