Fri. Aug 12th, 2022
Amazon to buy One Medical for $3.9 billion as it expands healthcare footprint

One Medical is a membership-based main care service that guarantees prospects “24/7 entry to digital care.” The corporate operates in a dozen main US markets, in keeping with its web site, and works with over 8,000 corporations to supply One Medical well being advantages to their staff.

In an announcement Thursday asserting the acquisition, Neil Lindsay, senior vice chairman of Amazon Well being Providers, mentioned the e-commerce big thinks “well being care is excessive on the checklist of experiences that want reinvention.” Lindsay added that Amazon hopes to be one of many corporations “that helps dramatically enhance the healthcare expertise over the following a number of years.”

The acquisition is simply the most recent instance of the tech big increasing its footprint within the healthcare trade. Amazon acquired PillPack, an internet pharmacy, in 2018 and later launched its personal digital pharmacy in the US. Individually, Amazon partnered with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway on an effort to offer higher well being care providers and insurance coverage at a decrease value to employees and households on the three corporations, and probably different companies, too. That effort, referred to as Haven, shut down final yr.

Amazon in recent times has broadened its empire from on-line retail to leisure, groceries and extra, growing its huge attain into the lives of customers within the course of. The One Medical acquisition could be one of many largest in Amazon’s historical past. Amazon agreed to purchase grocery chain Entire Meals in 2017 for $13.7 billion and earlier this yr closed an $8.5 billion deal to purchase iconic Hollywood film studio MGM.

With the One Medical deal, Amazon would acquire entry to bodily well being clinics and “payer and hospital system relationships,” Evercore ISI analyst Elizabeth Anderson mentioned in a be aware Thursday morning.

Headquartered in San Francisco, One Medical has seen demand for its providers surge in recent times amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the rise of the telehealth sector. In its most-recent quarterly earnings report, One Medical mentioned it had a complete membership rely of 767,000, up 28% year-over-year. One Medical went public in January 2020.
Shares for 1life Healthcare (ONEM), the mum or dad firm of One Medical, surged greater than 65% in early buying and selling Thursday after the announcement. Amazon inventory opened the comparatively flat Thursday. (Shares for CVS Well being Corp and Walgreens Boots Alliance dipped barely Thursday morning following the information.)

The deal stays topic to approval from One Medical’s shareholders and regulators.

Nicholas Economides, a professor of economics at New York College’s Stern College of Enterprise, mentioned he’s skeptical the deal might set off a lot formal antitrust scrutiny. He in contrast the One Medical acquisition to Amazon’s earlier buy of Entire Meals, saying that Amazon’s preexisting marketshare in each industries was fairly small on the time of the respective offers. Historically, antitrust regulators have intently scrutinized mergers which may eradicate a competitor from throughout the identical market, however have not often objected to offers the place one firm acquires its means into an adjoining trade.

“The grounds for intervention are even weaker on this case than in Entire Meals, as a result of to some extent Amazon is a market for promoting meals, so to a small extent it was a competitor to Entire Meals earlier than the merger,” Economides mentioned. “Right here, I do not see Amazon having a major enterprise in healthcare.”

However some had been fast to name for extra scrutiny of the deal. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate antitrust subcommittee, mentioned the Federal Commerce Fee should “totally examine” the proposed acquisition. The e-commerce big’s bid “raises questions on potential anticompetitive results” Amazon may exert by its pharmacy service, Klobuchar wrote to FTC Chair Lina Khan on Thursday.

Though Amazon’s newest deal might not increase pink flags underneath a standard antitrust rubric, the announcement comes as officers on the FTC, the Justice Division and in Congress have sounded a harder be aware on massive tech platforms and vowed to get extra inventive — and aggressive — about imposing competitors regulation. Some US lawmakers are urgently pushing to cross a invoice that would erect new obstacles between tech giants’ numerous strains of enterprise, stopping them from utilizing their huge scale in a number of verticals as a type of drive multiplier that critics say harms competitors.

Shortly after the deal was introduced, some tech trade critics additionally raised considerations concerning the well being information to which the corporate may acquire entry.

“Amazon having again door entry to personal well being care information is frankly a terrifying thought and calls into focus how desperately Congress must cross antitrust reform to forestall these tech giants from abusing their monopoly energy,” Sacha Haworth, government director of the Tech Oversight Challenge advocacy group, advised CNN Enterprise in an announcement.

CNN’s Brian Fung contributed to this report.

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