FTC accepts Rite Aid, Jean Coutu Group agreement

June 18, 2007

The FTC has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order with Rite Aid Corp. and the Jean Coutu Group. The agreement is designed to remedy the likely anticompetitive effects arising from Rite Aid's proposed acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd retail pharmacies from Jean Coutu.

The FTC has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order with Rite Aid Corp. and the Jean Coutu Group. The agreement is designed to remedy the likely anticompetitive effects arising from Rite Aid's proposed acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd retail pharmacies from Jean Coutu. The consent agreement settles alleged violation of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The complaint alleges that the proposed transaction likely would allow Rite Aid to unilaterally exercise market power, thereby making it likely that cash pharmacy customers would pay higher prices in these areas. The complaint also alleges that the proposed acquisition, if completed, may substantially lessen competition in the retail sale of pharmacy services to cash customers in 23 local areas. The proposed consent order requires the proposed respondents to divest one store in each relevant geographic area to one of five up-front buyers—Kinney Drugs, Medicine Shoppe International, Walgreen Co., Big Y, and Weis Markets.

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