By Reuters | Updated: 23 February 2023
Amazon.com said on Wednesday it had completed its $3.5 billion (nearly Rs. 29,000 crore) takeover of primary care provider One Medical, a day after a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) official announced that the agency would not challenge the deal.
The acquisition, announced last July, gives the online retailer a virtual health offering as well as offices for in-person medical services for the first time.
It reflects Amazon’s long-held ambition to greatly simplify how consumers navigate healthcare in the United States, a lofty goal it has yet to realize even as the company has rolled out a virtual pharmacy and other programs.
In a statement, Amazon’s Chief Executive Andy Jassy said the deal would help the company improve, speed up and personalize care for patients. “If you fast forward 10 years from now, people are not going to believe how primary care was administered,” he said.
Amazon shares rose 2 percent in morning trade.
The company also announced it would discount One Medical membership to $144 (nearly Rs. 11,900) from $199 (nearly Rs. 16,500) for the first year to new customers, irrespective of whether they are subscribers to Amazon’s Prime loyalty program. Membership covers access to One Medical’s virtual care services, referral and insurance navigation, Amazon said.
The FTC official on Tuesday said the agency would watch for any possible harm to competition caused by the tie-up, along with how consumer data is used. Antitrust agencies can file complaints to undo a merger after it is complete.
The FTC is also probing Amazon’s plan to buy iRobot, maker of the autonomous Roomba vacuum, for $1.7 billion (nearly Rs. 14,100).
Amazon said it had no layoff plans for One Medical after closing the deal. Amir Dan Rubin, One Medical’s chief executive, will remain with the company and report to Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, the retailer said.
One Medical had 836,000 members at last year’s end and 2022 net revenue of $1 billion (nearly Rs. 8,300 crore). It had a physical presence in 27 markets across the United States, from San Diego to Cape Cod, it said in its annual report.
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