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Walgreens, Rite Aid $17.B Deal Merges Two Pharmacy Giants

Walgreens, pictured here in Little Egg Harbor, N. J. is acquiring rival Rite Aid.
Walgreens, pictured here in Little Egg Harbor, N. J. is acquiring rival Rite Aid. Photo Credit: LancerE - http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancerrevolution/3857276262/

The second and third largest drugstore chains are merging as Walgreens has agreed to buy Rite Aid in a $17.2 billion deal, according to reports.

The news has investors and regulators scrambling, as merger news already drove up stock prices in both companies, as well concerns about antitrust, the Wall Street Journal reported. The purchase price is $9.4 billion but with assumed debt, the value becomes about $17.2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For consumers, it means the joining of two big drugstore companies, increasing their reach throughout the U.S. Walgreens has roughly 8,200 stores while Rite Aid has about 4,600, the Wall Street Journal said.

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