Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) recently sent a letter to the FTC asking for a review of a proposed $3.9 billion merger between Amazon and One Medical, a chain of medical clinics whose acquisition would mark Amazon’s latest move to acquire the health care industry.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) ask In a recent letter, the FTC investigated a proposed $3.9 billion acquisition between Amazon and One Medical.
Hawley wrote in the letter: “I am aware that the FTC is currently working to counter the accelerating concentration of the U.S. economy and the power of the tech giants. Nonetheless, I urge you to prioritize search review of this particular transaction.”
Hawley said the acquisition would “give Amazon access to vast amounts of patient data,” and while he acknowledged that HIPAA and other privacy laws could “deter the worst potential abuses,” he noted “there are loopholes in every legal framework.” .
Hawley said some privacy-related scenarios “once seen as alarmist fiction are now a very real possibility.” Hawley offered a scenario, saying: “For example, if a person is being treated by a One Medical doctor, for example, Diagnosed with high blood pressure, will he be advertised as an over-the-counter blood pressure medication when he goes shopping at Whole Foods Market in the future?”
Hawley also claimed that the deal would strengthen Amazon’s market dominance and could even reshape the power dynamics in primary care.
“It doesn’t matter whether the primary care market is currently competitive: by dabbling in dozens of smaller markets, Amazon positions itself to eventually become the dominant player in each, as cross-subsidization allows Amazon to provide loss-of-service and data-driven networks The effect allows Amazon to market at a level that its competitors cannot match,” Hawley said.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering free speech and online censorship issues.follow him on twitter @lucasnolan