3 min read

Amazon Expands into Healthcare with Acquisition of One Medical

Amazon attempts to disrupt the complex and competitive healthcare industry with its $4 billion acquisition of a telehealth service.
Amazon Expands into Healthcare with Acquisition of One Medical

Amazon is continuing its expansion into health care, announcing on Thursday that it will acquire One Medical, a "technology-powered" combination primary care and telehealth service, for nearly $4 billion, reports Vox.

"I think this is about nailing the consumer shopping experience for health, which has been talked about for decades but no one has done yet," Chrissy Farr, a health tech investor, told Recode. "Where I think they’re going is to be the consumer health player."

Amazon wants to be your doctor now, too (Vox)

Excerpt from Vox: That makes this one of Amazon’s largest acquisitions to date and indicates that the e-commerce giant is very serious about its plans for consumer-facing health care. But given growing scrutiny over Amazon’s antitrust issues, it’s unclear if the merger will make it past regulators — and some lawmakers are criticizing the deal. It’s possible that technology companies like Amazon have the answer to what ails the industry that’s supposed to fix what ails us. It’s also possible that their moves into that sector will give them even more power over us and yet another industry to dominate. And while antitrust regulators have been concerned about Big Tech’s growing power and will likely scrutinize the deal, there may not be much they can do to stop it.
Embed from Getty Images

According to Yahoo! Finance, the deal marks one of Amazon's most high-profile pushes into health care to date. So, why One Medical? To start, One Medical — which was founded in 2007 and focuses on so-called concierge primary care — was on the market. The company had reportedly been fielding takeover interest from giants like CVS.

One Medical: Why Amazon's acquiring this health care company for $3.9 billion (Yahoo! Finance)

Excerpt from Yahoo! Finance: One Medical's $199 annual subscription offers 24/7 access to telehealth services, same-day appointments, and an app. The company had 188 U.S. locations and more than 750,000 members, as of a May filing. The company's focus is on primary care and boasts virtually no wait times, and in its IPO filing expressed interest in moving into behavioral health. The Carlyle Group has been one of One Medical's key investors, and is reportedly set to exit after Amazon's acquisition.
Embed from Getty Images

However, writes The Wall Street Journal, it might become one of the most difficult expansions in the company’s history.

Amazon Faces Fierce Competition in Health Ambitions After One Medical Deal (The Wall Street Journal)

Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: Amazon Chief Executive Andy Jassy and other executives have declared their intent to disrupt healthcare. But the industry is in some ways more complex and diffuse than other areas into which Amazon has grown recently, such as entertainment, advertising or grocery businesses. Success will require beating entrenched rivals with long experience navigating industry regulations and competing for physicians who are key to growth. The company’s earlier forays into healthcare haven’t met with as much success as some predicted, including a $1 billion deal for a business to ship prescriptions nationwide and the high-profile venture to remake healthcare that companies offer to U.S. workers.
Embed from Getty Images

Jump to this week's edition of:
World News (Part 1)
World News (Part 2)
US News