Amazon takes big step in healthcare with $3.9 billion bid for the company

Amazon announced an offer to buy San Francisco-based health company One Medical, which would be its third-largest acquisition to date (Picture:REX)

Amazon is making its biggest push into healthcare after announcing a bid to buy California healthcare company One Medical for $3.9 billion.

The global retail giant has not revealed any plans for the company and it is not clear whether it plans to maintain it as a separate company or integrate it into a larger healthcare platform.

“We think healthcare is high on the list of experiences to be reinvented,” said Amazon Health Services SVP Neil Lindsay.

Making an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off from work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking space, waiting in the waiting room and then the exam room for what can often be a rushed few minutes with a doctor , and then go to a pharmacy again – we see a lot of opportunities to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days.”

One Medical attracted major investors in Silicon Valley, including Google’s parent company Alphabet (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

One Medical isn’t Amazon’s first step into healthcare, but it’s by far the largest investment in the industry. The company previously bought online mail order pharmacy PillPack for just under $1 billion in 2018.

In 2019, the company also piloted a program called Amazon Care, which offers live virtual sessions with doctors and other healthcare professionals through an app.

Amazon Care has not attracted big name customers outside of other Amazon-owned companies. One Medical offers similar services to employers, but is much larger with nearly 8,500 clients.

One Medical was founded in 2007 as a chain of primary care clinics in San Francisco. It sees it as its mission to “transform healthcare for all through our people-centered, technology-driven model,” according to its IPO.

The company previously made headlines for: attract big investors in 2018. It received $350 million in funding from the Carlyle Group, a large multinational private equity firm, as well as backing from Google’s parent company Alphabet.

One Medical went public in January 2020, offering 17.5 million shares at $14 a share.

Since its IPO, it has faced criticism from customers.

At the beginning of 2021 it is reportedly letting ineligible customers skip the coronavirus vaccine queue, sparking a congressional investigation.

One Medical also charged some customers for coronavirus vaccines, according to a report form The edge. The company blames this on a ‘billing system bug’.

Also in 2021 a data breach reported by sure naira hundreds of customer email addresses uncovered.

Amazon has made headlines in recent years with other major acquisitions. In 2017, the supermarket chain bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion and in March 2022 closed a deal to buy movie studio MGM for $8.45 billion.

If this offer goes through, One Medical will become the online retailer’s third-largest acquisition to date.

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