NEW YORK – A proposal by Walgreens to acquire 456 Rite Aid stores in New York State has been cut to satisfy competitive concerns raised by Attorney General Schneiderman and the Federal Trade Commission.
Walgreens agreed to acquire fewer stores in New York State and the New York City metropolitan region than it originally had planned. Walgreens will now acquire 272 stores in New York State, with Rite Aid retaining 327 stores across the state.
Mr. Schneiderman says that retail pharmacy chains fill the majority of prescriptions in many areas of New York State and competition is good for the consumer.
“Vigorous competition between pharmacy chains keeps down the cost of filling a prescription, which benefits New York consumers and businesses by preserving choice and keeping costs low. We’ll continue to keep close tabs on consolidation in the retail pharmacy space to ensure New Yorkers get the lower prices, greater choices, and better service they deserve,” said Mr. Schneiderman.
The proposal by Walgreens and Rite Aid also included an agreement granting Rite Aid the option to purchase generic drugs through an affiliate of Walgreens at a low cost for a ten-year period. After discussion with federal and state antitrust regulators, that agreement was amended to allow Rite Aid greater latitude to pursue outside business relationships over the course of the agreement.
Store purchases would begin in October and are expected to be completed in spring 2018.