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US: FTC steps up scrutiny of Walgreen-Rite Aid merger

 |  May 16, 2017

Drug store giant Walgreens Boots Alliance carries dozens of headache cures in its 13,200 stores — and that should come in handy for the lawyers and bankers working on its $9.7 billion proposed merger with Rite Aid.

Washington regulators in the last few weeks have again stepped up their scrutiny of the 19-month-old hoped-for acquisition by sending out mandatory requests for additional information to Walgreen vendors and rivals.

“They are working hard to get more information,” a source with direct knowledge of the situation said.

The requests, known as Civil Information Demands, show that the Federal Trade Commission is still not ready to approve the deal, sources said.

In fact, it could be a sign the FTC is collecting data toward a possible lawsuit aimed at blocking the deal, sources said.

Many regulatory probes that include CIDs do not result in a lawsuit, experts have said.

The FTC sent CIDs at an earlier stage in its recent review of uniform suppliers Cintas and G&K. Then Interim FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhaussen in March cleared the deal — over some of her staff’s objections, sources said.

Full Content: The Street

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