The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided not to reject the acquisition of primary care provider One Medical on Tuesday, thus Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) can proceed with the transaction.
As part of its strategy to deliver a technology-powered approach to healthcare, the online retail giant agreed to pay $3.49 billion in July to acquire the parent company of the supplier of digital and virtual healthcare services, 1Life Healthcare.
Since the merger’s announcement, FTC officials have been conducting an extensive assessment of it; but, on Tuesday, the deadline for filing a challenge passed, clearing the way for the deal to finalize this week.
But, FTC spokesperson Douglas Farrar cautioned that “the commission will continue to look at possible harms to competition posed by this combination.”
Also, “potential risks to consumers that may emerge from Amazon’s management and use of sensitive consumer health information held by One Medical” would be evaluated, according to him.
Amazon Care, its virtual healthcare service, was wound down at the end of last year as it did not offer a “complete enough” range of services for “large scale enterprise customers,” according to Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of the retail giant’s health division.
Acquiring One Medical would give Amazon an 800,000-strong customer base, which includes staff from around 8,500 companies, offering them round-the-clock online care, as well as physical doctors’ offices.
It would mark a step-up in Amazon’s thus-far muted efforts to break into the health sector by offering “easier” access to care products and services, according to Lindsay.
1Life Healthcare shares jumped 8.6% to US$17.89, in pre-market trading on Wednesday, while Amazon was up 0.4%.