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US: Walgreens gives FTC deadline to approve Rite Aid deal

 |  April 2, 2017

Walgreens set a deadline three months away for the Federal Trade Commission to either block or allow its $9.7 billion merger with Rite Aid.

Walgreens’s declaration of “certified compliance” also prevents the commission from ruling too far ahead of the deadline, according to The New York Post.

The Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens is likely betting that President Donald Trump will install a deal-friendly commissioner to review the merger.

Trump may select Utah’s Republican attorney general Sean Reyes to head the FTC, replacing Democrat Edith Ramirez, who blocked mergers between Staples and Office Depot and between Sysco and US Foods amid antitrust concerns.

The FTC now has just two commissioners on its five-member panel after Ramirez stepped down on Feb. 10. However, Republican Maureen Ohlhausen, the interim chair, approved the drafting of a legal complaint that would allow the FTC to sue and block the Walgreens merger, according to a Post source. Ohlhausen is pressing to be the permanent FTC chair. As a FTC commissioner, she would not need to be confirmed by Congress.

Full Content: New York Post

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