Rite Aid Corp.’s announcement Aug. 24 that it is buying nearly 2,000 drugstores carrying the Brooks and Eckerd names along the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic region is sure to get the attention of regulators at the Federal Trade Commission. While a review is likely, the deal is unlikely to suffer the same fate of a Rite Aid deal a decade ago.
In 1996, the FTC voted to block Rite Aid’s purchase of Revco D.S. Inc., a deal that would have merged the two largest pharmacy chains in the country. Last week’s deal strengthens Rite Aid’s position as the third-largest chain, still following rivals Walgreen Co. and CVS Corp., which also have grown, in part, through mergers.
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