Amazon Bets $3.9 Billion on Merger With Health Care Company

By Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully
Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.
July 22, 2022 Updated: July 22, 2022 Inc. is planning to buy One Medical, a primary health care provider, in a takeover that would expand the e-commerce giant’s presence in the health care market.

Both companies have entered a “definitive merger agreement” indicating that Amazon will acquire One Medical—comprising 1Life Healthcare Inc., the administrative arm of the company, and the affiliated health care providers—for $3.9 billion, according to a July 21 news release.

Amazon will pay $18 per share in the all-cash transaction and will also acquire One Medical’s net debt (the debt remaining after subtracting the company’s assets).

Once the companies have the necessary regulatory approval and the merger gets the green light from One Medical’s shareholders, the transaction will be complete. One Medical CEO Amir Dan Rubin is slated to remain in his post after the deal.

One Medical is a tech-powered primary care organization that provides in-person, digital, and virtual care services. The company says it seeks to make scheduling appointments, accessing health records, and renewing prescriptions easier for patients.

Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said in the company’s news release that the experience of using health care services needs to be reinvented.

“Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy—we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days,” Lindsay said.

By acquiring One Medical, Amazon will secure 188 medical offices across the world.

Challenges to Takeover

Citi analyst Daniel Grosslight said Amazon does seem to have a target on its back, and that the U.S. Department of Justice has been “very aggressive” in blocking deals recently, Reuters reported.

“That will most definitely subject this acquisition to more scrutiny than normal,” Grosslight said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to investigate the acquisition.

In the July 21 letter (pdf), the senator pointed out that Amazon has a history of business practices that involve “serious anticompetitive concerns.” Amazon has also been accused of misrepresenting facts while testifying under oath to Congress. In the past 25 years, Amazon has taken over 118 other companies.

The deal with One Medical raises questions about “potential anticompetitive effects” related to the pharmacy services business that Amazon already owns, Klobuchar said.

The deal could also result in an “already data-intensive” company acquiring “highly sensitive personal health data,” she warned.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Amazon for comment.

Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events at The Epoch Times.