Lingering FTC concerns could stall $9.4B Walgreens-Rite Aid merger

With the deadline fast approaching to close the merger between Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens Boots Alliance and Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid, Federal Trade Commission lawyers still have concerns about the transaction, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The Walgreens-Rite Aid merger was announced in October 2015. The combined company would include more stores than any other drugstore chain in the U.S. 

To address concerns identified by the FTC in its review of the proposed merger, the two companies entered into an agreement in December to sell 865 Rite Aid stores to Memphis, Tenn.-based Fred's in an all-cash $950 million transaction.

However, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg FTC officials are concerned the sale of the 865 stores is not enough to preserve competition. 

The companies' deadline to close the deal is Friday, but one of the people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg the FTC is unlikely to complete its review of the transaction by the deadline.

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