One Medical is a membership-based primary care service that promises customers “24/7 access to virtual care.” The company operates in a dozen major U.S. markets, according to its website, and works with more than 8,000 companies to offer One Medical health benefits to their employees.

In a Thursday statement announcing the acquisition, Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, said the e-commerce giant believes “healthcare is high on the list of experiences that need to be reinvented. “. Lindsay added that Amazon hopes to be one of the companies “helping to dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next few years.”

This acquisition is just the latest example of the tech giant expanding its footprint in the healthcare industry. Amazon acquired PillPack, an online pharmacy, in 2018 and later launched its own digital pharmacy in the United States. Separately, Amazon has partnered with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway in an effort to provide better health care services and better insurance at lower costs to workers and families at all three companies, and possibly other businesses as well. . That effort, called Haven, came to a halt last year.

In recent years, Amazon has expanded its online retail empire into entertainment, groceries and more, increasing its vast reach into consumers’ lives. The acquisition of One Medical would be one of the largest in Amazon’s history. Amazon agreed to buy grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion and earlier this year struck an $8.5 billion deal to buy iconic Hollywood movie studio MGM.

With the One Medical deal, Amazon would have access to physical health clinics and “payer-to-hospital system relationships,” Evercore ISI analyst Elizabeth Anderson said in a note Thursday morning.

San Francisco-based One Medical has seen demand for its services increase in recent years amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the booming telehealth industry. In its latest quarterly earnings report, One Medical said it had a total membership of 767,000, up 28% year-over-year. One Medical went public in January 2020.
Actions for 1life Health (ONEM), the parent company of One Medical, jumped more than 65% in early trading on Thursday after the announcement. Amazon stock opened relatively flat on Thursday. (Shares of CVS Health Corp and Walgreens Boots Alliance fell slightly on Thursday morning after the news.)

The deal remains subject to approval by One Medical shareholders and regulators.

While Anderson argued there was minimal antitrust risk given Amazon’s limited footprint in healthcare, some tech industry critics were quick to worry about agreement and data to which the company may have access.

“Amazon having backdoor access to private healthcare data is frankly a terrifying thought and highlights just how desperate Congress needs to pass antitrust reform to stop these tech giants from abusing their power to monopoly,” said Sacha Haworth, executive director of the Tech Oversight Project. advocacy group, CNN Business told CNN Business in a statement.

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