As part of its expansion into health care, Amazon will acquire the primary care organization One Medical for roughly $3.9 billion.
The Seattle-based company said it would pay $18 per share in cash for the company, becoming the third largest acquisition for Amazon after buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion and MGM for $8.5 billion earlier this year.
In addition to offering virtual care and in-person visits, One Medical works with more than 8,000 companies to provide employee health benefits.
According to its first-quarter earnings report, One Medical had around 767,000 members as of March and 188 medical offices in 25 markets. The report also revealed the company had sustained a net loss of $90.9 million after generating $254.1 million in revenue. The debt owed by One Medical is part of the total sale value that was revealed.
According to Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, the acquisition is intended to redefine the “experience” of receiving medical care for things like making appointments and going to the pharmacy.
“We love inventing to make what should be easy easier, and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the healthcare experience over the next several years,” Lindsay said.
With this acquisition, Amazon expands into health care services, the latest industry it seeks to disrupt.
After buying PillPack for $750 million in 2018, the company opened its online pharmacy where customers can order medication and prescription refills and have them delivered to their front door.
The company began offering its Amazon Care telemedicine program to employers across the country last year, and experts say that the latest deal will help it expand its employer clientele.
“They will have a much bigger footprint in this market immediately,” said Andrew Ching, a professor at Johns Hopkins University.
It is hardly surprising that Amazon is increasing its presence in the healthcare industry, according to Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail. Saunders says the company is seeking fresh opportunities for growth as it’s retail and cloud computing businesses mature. The problematic yet highly lucrative field of health care is appealing. But it’s not always simple to make a huge impression.
“Amazon will need to work extremely hard and be extremely innovative if it is to do more than shake things up a little at the margins,” said Saunders. “Based on past form, the jury is unsure whether Amazon can achieve this. As much as it has made some inroads in online pharmacy, it has not revolutionized the market. Nor did its acquisition of Whole Foods – the biggest deal in its history – lead to major disruption.”
The most recent agreement came when lawmakers investigated Amazon and other Big Tech companies for their monopolistic practices. Critics demanded that U.S. regulators block the acquisition shortly after the corporation announced its Thursday, claiming it compromises privacy and enables it to expand into another important industry.
“Amazon’s takeover of One Medical is the latest shot in a terrifying new stage in the business model of the world’s largest corporations,” said Barry Lynn, the executive director of Open Markets Institute. “The deal will expand Amazon’s ability to collect the most intimate and personal of information about individuals, in order to track, target, manipulate, and exploit people in ever more intrusive ways.”