Senator calls on FTC to probe Amazon's One Medical acquisition

On July 28, Sen. Josh Hawley wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to look into Amazon's planned acquisition of One Medical. 

"​​This particular acquisition, if allowed to proceed, would represent an alarming new direction for a company that already wields far too much power," Mr. Hawley wrote. "Most importantly, this acquisition would provide Amazon with access to enormous tranches of patient data." 

Mr. Hawley raised concerns that the retail giant's proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of the virtual and in-person primary care company One Medical would pose a risk to Americans' privacy and safety. 

Specifically, the senator said that HIPAA and other privacy laws can thwart the worst potential abuses, but that loopholes exist in every legal framework, giving Amazon the potential to use individuals' data to its own advantage. 

"For instance, if an individual is diagnosed with high blood pressure by a One Medical doctor, will he later be advertised over-the-counter blood pressure medications whenever he shops at Whole Foods Market?" Mr. Hawley wrote. "Promoting wellness is one thing; dystopian corporate 'nudging' is quite another."

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