U.S. Senator Warren urges FTC to review CVS-Oak Street deal
March 22 (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to review CVS Health Corp's (CVS.N) $9.5-billion acquisition of Oak Street Health Inc (OSH.N) as well as other merger deals in the sector.
The Oak Street buyout is among the company's bigger deals and follows similar acquisitions by rivals Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O), Cigna Corp (CI.N) and UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) as the focus on primary and urgent care delivery has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Warren warned that the consolidation might not lead to promised benefits, according to her letter to the FTC on March 17, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.
Warren urged the FTC to scrutinize the CVS-Oak Street deal and others like it, retrospectively review similar transactions and "challenge in court any mergers that have reduced competition in violation of antitrust laws".
The senator cited primary and home healthcare acquisitions by UnitedHealth Group (UNH.N), Humana (HUM.N), Walgreens, Walmart (WMT.N) and Amazon (AMZN.O) for retrospective review.
"If the FTC determines that any of these deals violated antitrust law, I urge you to unravel them," Warren said.
CVS did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
When the CVS-Oak Street deal was announced last month, the two companies expected to close it this year.
CVS' planned buyout of Signify Health, which provides home assessments mainly for patients enrolled in Medicare, has been under a lengthy antitrust review since its announcement in September.
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