The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking more information about Walgreens Boots Alliance's plan to acquire Rite Aid by the middle of next year.
Made under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, the second request is a standard part of the regulatory process associated with the FTC's review of potential acquisitions and mergers. The commission ensures that proposed transactions won't reduce competition, cause consumers to pay higher prices or lead to lower quality products or less innovative ideas.
The proposed merger between Walgreens and Rite Aid was announced in late October. Walgreens has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Rite Aid -- as well as its debt -- in a deal worth $17.2 billion. The combination of the nation's largest and third-largest drugstore chains, Walgreens and Rite Aid, respectively, is expected to provide consumers with a high-quality retail pharmacy choice dedicated to making health and wellness solutions more accessible and affordable.
Walgreens currently operates more than 8,000 stores across all 50 states, while Rite Aid has around 4,600 stores among 31 states and the District of Columbia.
After the companies merge, Rite Aid will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens and will initially operate under its already existing brand name.
The transaction must still be approved by Rite Aid stakeholders and meet numerous customary closing conditions.