It appears that Amazon has abandoned its months-long attempt to acquire One Medical. The $3.9 billion acquisition is now complete, giving the company access to a full spectrum of primary care services, including in-person and remote medical care as well as diagnostic laboratory testing. Amazon said in July that when it bought One Medical, it would “reinvent” healthcare. However, the company hasn’t done anything other than offer a temporary $55 discount on a one-year membership (which is now $144).
Just a day after the FTC announced it wouldn’t challenge the buyout, it has been finalized. The regulator has said that it is still looking into the deal to see if Amazon’s access to health data raises any privacy concerns or hurts competition. CNN quotes an FTC official as saying that the agency will tell Amazon that it is doing this at its own risk and that the government may still take action.
Amazon has been steadily growing its presence in the healthcare industry for many years. In 2018, it acquired PillPack and used the company to launch its own in-house pharmacy service. The online retail giant launched an app-based health service for its employees in 2019 and later made it available to other businesses.
The company released its own version of Alexa in the medical field in 2021. The One Medical move should round out Amazon’s capabilities, allowing the company to take care of everything from routine doctor’s visits to filling prescriptions.
It’s not entirely clear if Amazon would survive if challenged by the FTC. The head of the commission, Lina Khan, is known for being skeptical of big tech companies like Amazon. This is why Amazon asked her to stay out of antitrust cases. On the other hand, the FTC recently tried to stop Meta from buying Within but failed, so its chances of succeeding are low.
However, One Medical is significantly larger than Within, and its healthcare focus raises privacy concerns not typically associated with technology purchases.