Walgreens chief: Rite Aid purchase isn’t to ‘increase our power’

The Federal Trade Commission will consider whether the merger creates too much clout when negotiating with pharmacy-benefits managers. The retail giant’s CEO said the acquisition will not ‘change the rules of the game.’

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With more than 8,200 locations, Walgreens is the United States’ largest pharmacy chain. If its $9.4 billion deal to buy competitor Rite Aid goes through, it’ll be 4,600 stores larger.

What’s yet to be determined is how big that “if” is.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, the chain’s parent company, is preemptively combating the inevitable questions from antitrust regulators over whether the deal will make the company too large. It will make Walgreens significantly larger than its top competitor, CVS, which has around 7,800 locations.

Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Stefano Pessina assured reporters on a conference call, “We have not done this to increase our power.”

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