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Amazon Closes One Medical Acquisition but FTC Intervention Looms

by | Feb 28, 2023 | Essential, Industry Buzz-lir, Laboratory Industry Report

The deal closed Feb.22, but the FTC has expressed concerns about the acquisition and Amazon’s business practices in general.

Last July, Amazon made a big splash by announcing that it had signed an agreement to acquire One Medical for $3.9 billion. The strategy: Leverage One Medical’s network of boutique primary care and telehealth physician practices to build out and bolster Amazon Clinic, a secure portal offering patients personalized treatments and prescriptions for more than 20 different medical conditions ranging from headaches to hair loss provided by doctors and nurse practitioners (NPs) in 32 different states. (“Amazon Makes Third Attempt to Disrupt Healthcare Business,” Laboratory Industry Report, December 1, 2022).1

On Feb. 22, Amazon officially announced that the deal has closed.2 But the champagne popping must have been somewhat tempered by a potentially menacing presence: the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agency has expressed concerns about the acquisition and Amazon’s business practices in general. While closing takes the risk of an injunction off the table, the FTC might yet intervene in the matter.

The FTC Turns Up the Regulatory Screws

It has been widely reported from sources including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Seeking Alpha, that the FTC had stepped up scrutiny and that it was even considering an antitrust lawsuit to block the Amazon/One Medical deal amid concerns about its potential to throttle competition. The FTC’s apparent misgivings are anything but a bolt from the blue. Almost from the moment it took office, the Biden administration has gone out of its way to voice concerns about consolidation in health care. On July 9, 2021, the president issued an Executive Order (EO) calling on the FTC, Department of Justice, and other federal agencies to vigorously enforce the antitrust laws, especially in the healthcare markets. According to the EO, thanks to “unchecked mergers,” the 10 largest healthcare systems now control a quarter of the market.3

Nor is it surprising that Amazon would figure prominently in the Biden administration’s enforcement directive. The FTC has been investigating Amazon for several years. The new FTC probe reportedly focuses on the e-commerce behemoth’s wider and supposedly anti-competitive business practices, including the recent acquisitions of not only One Medical but also Roomba vacuum manufacturer iRobot Corp., that Amazon announced it was purchasing for $1.7 billion last August.4

The first inkling of trouble came in September when both Amazon and One Medical disclosed in their U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings that they had received a request from the FTC for “additional information and documentary materials” in connection with the agency’s review of the proposed acquisition.5 According to Bloomberg, the FTC was contemplating filing an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon in federal court as early as this spring.6 Although it’s now too late to get an injunction barring the deal from closing, the FTC could still seek damages and even take steps to force Amazon to unwind the deal.

Meanwhile, Amazon Clinic remains in operation. Last summer, Amazon made the strategic decision to shut down its Amazon Care service providing virtual and limited in-person primary care services to employees of employer customers to focus on Amazon Clinic. The assumption was that Amazon would eventually be able to deploy the networks and assets it acquired from One Medical to build out Amazon Clinic with the hopes of eventually doing in the healthcare market what it did in retail. However, FTC scrutiny and litigation may yet thwart those plans and ultimately send Amazon back to the healthcare drawing board yet again.


  1. https://www.g2intelligence.com/amazon-makes-third-attempt-to-disrupt-healthcare-business/
  2. https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/company-news/one-medical-joins-amazon-to-make-it-easier-for-people-to-get-and-stay-healthier
  3. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/09/fact-sheet-executive-order-on-promoting-competition-in-the-american-economy/
  4. https://press.aboutamazon.com/2022/8/amazon-and-irobot-sign-an-agreement-for-amazon-to-acquire-irobot
  5. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1404123/000119312522216526/d379513dprem14a.htm
  6. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-02-03/ftc-is-preparing-potential-antitrust-case-against-amazon?sref=XGjS8839


Here’s a summary of the key M&A diagnostic deals that were signed or closed in February 2023:

Mergers, Acquisitions, & Asset Sales

Acquiring Company Target(s) Deal Summary
Abbott Laboratories Cardiovascular Systems (CSI) ·       Price: $890 million total value at $20 per CSI share
·       Signed acquisition agreement with no closing date announced
·       Acquisition of heart device maker expands Abbott’s vascular device offerings
Quest Diagnostics NewYork-Presbyterian ·       Price: Undisclosed
·       Status: Expected to close in Q2
·       Quest to acquire assets of NewYork-Presbyterian’s laboratory services business in New York City and Tri-State Area while NewYork-Presbyterian continues to own and operate hospital lab services, including anatomic pathology services
Cytek Biosciences DiaSorin ·       Price: $46.5 million cash
·       Status: Expected to close in 30 days
·       Luminex subsidiary sells flow cytometry and imaging business
·       Access to Luminex instruments’ abilities to study spatial characteristics of cells, movements of proteins within cells, and cell-to-cell interactions expands Cytek’s technological capabilities and product features
EDX Medical Group Torax Biosciences ·       Price: Undisclosed
·       Status: No closing date announced
·       Acquisition of Northern Ireland-based diagnostics and immunochemistry firm, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary, enables EDX to expand its product design, development, manufacturing, commercialization, and lab testing capacities
Incite Health CNSDose ·       Price: Undisclosed
·       Status: Closed
·       Acquisition of Australian mental health pharmacogenetics firm and producer of the CNSDose pharmacogenetic test and clinical support tool for guiding psychiatric medication selection via testing 15 genes related to liver drug metabolism and drug transport across the blood-brain barrier
Waters Wyatt Technology ·       Price: $1.36 billion cash
·       Status: Expected to close in Q2
·       Acquisition of light scattering and field-flow fractionation firm bolsters Waters’ efforts to build out its bioanalytical characterization business
Sherlock Biosciences Sense Biodetection ·       Price: Undisclosed
·       Status: No closing date announced
·       Acquisition of UK molecular diagnostics company accelerates Sherlock’s efforts to bring CRISPR-based diagnostics products to the market
·       Plan is to pair Sherlock’s CRISPR, synthetic biology, and AI technologies with Sense’s instrument-free diagnostic hardware and rapid molecular amplification chemistries to create a faster path to commercialization
SD Biosensor +  SJL Partners Meridian Bioscience ·       Price: $1.53 billion in cash and other financing; Meridian shareholders receive $34.00 per share in cash + a 32% premium over Meridian’s closing stock price on day before SD Biosensor and SJL’s first offer on March 18, 2022, + a 16% premium based on one-month average price per share of common stock starting June 7, 2022
·       Status: Closed
·       SD Biosensor owns 60% and SJL, an investment vehicle, owns 40% of Meridian common stock with consortium to operate Meridian as an independent entity under its current leadership and in its current Cincinnati HQ
Biosynex Chembio Diagnostics ·       Price: $17.2 million cash with Biosynex to acquire all outstanding shares of Chembio at $.45 per share, a 27% premium over stock’s closing price as of Jan. 30
·       Status: Definitive agreement expected to close in Q1
·       French maker of rapid tests acquires developer of point-of-care and over-the-counter infectious disease assays, including for detection of sexually transmitted infections, respiratory viruses, fever, and tropical diseases
QuartzBio SolveBio ·       Price: Undisclosed
·       Status: Closed
·       Acquisition of genomic data analytics firm augments QuartzBio’s biomarker discovery offerings in oncology, autoimmune disease, and central nervous system disease with QuartzBio to bring SolveBio’s genomic and clinical data analytics technology into its own multiomics data integration platform

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