Jan 20, 2017

Rite Aid stock cratering on concerns that FTC will block Walgreens merger

Rite Aid stock fell as much as 18.5% in morning trading after a Bloomberg report that the FTC is "worried" about the details of Walgreens planned buyout of its smaller rival. It's since pared about half of those losses.

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Data: Money.net; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Walgreens had planned to sell hundreds of its stores to regional pharmacy chain Fred's, but reports are that the FTC may not see these divestitures as bold enough to avoid antitrust concerns.

Why it matters: The Obama Administration ramped up antitrust oversight and one of the big question marks of the Trump Administration is whether it will get tough on mergers or take a more traditional Republican stance. The Walgreens-Rite Aid merger could be an important clue in this puzzle.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.