Why the FTC didn't block Amazon's deal for One Medical

The Federal Trade Commission didn't contest Amazon's $3.9 billion deal for primary care company One Medical despite agency officials' beliefs that the acquisition would hurt competition, Politico reported March 20.

The FTC found evidence of anticompetitive tactics but decided it was too hard of a case to win, people with knowledge of the agency's thinking told the news outlet. Amazon completed its takeover of One Medical on Feb. 22, a day after the FTC said it wouldn't sue to block the transaction.

For instance, Amazon was trying to get Lyft to switch from One Medical to its Amazon Care service for employers, offering a better price, people with knowledge of Lyft's testimony during the merger investigation told Politico. But as the ride-sharing service was about to sign, Amazon said it was buying One Medical, ended negotiations with Lyft and shut down Amazon Care, according to the story. A move to acquire a competitor rather than compete on the merits would be considered illegal.

However, an Amazon spokesperson told Politico: "We decided independent of, and prior to, the One Medical acquisition, that the Amazon Care offering and business model wasn't going to work long-term."

The FTC ultimately opted not to intervene because it couldn't define what market Amazon was trying to monopolize, Politico reported.

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