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Rite Aid stock craters after Walgreens merger is delayed

In its bid to buy Rite Aid, Walgreens has lowered the price it will pay from $9 per shareto $7 or even $6.50, and pushed back its merger deadline to July 31.

Rite Aid stocks fell dramatically today more than 17% to $5.72.

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

Walgreens also announced they will sell about a quarter of Rite Aid's stores to sway antitrust regulators to approve the deal — that's anywhere from 1000 to 1200 stores compared to the initial plan to sell no more than 500 stores, according to Bloomberg.

The winner: Fred's Inc., the retailer that already agreed to buy out 865 Rite Aid stores, whose shares are up 10% since the deal was announced in late 2015.

The headache: Barclays analysts point out Walgreens' strategic position will improve little should the merger succeed.