Leading Retail Drug Store Chain to Divest Store in
Denton as Part of Merger
Will Retain Competition in Retail Drug Store Market
BALTIMORE, MD (June 4, 2007) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
today announced that his Antitrust Division has reached a settlement
with Rite Aid Corporation, requiring the divestiture of its Eckerd
drug store in Denton. The settlement will allow for the continued
competition in the retail drug store market in the area.
In August 2006, Rite Aid Corporation, the nation's third largest retail drug
store chain, announced that it was purchasing the Eckerd and Brooks drug store
chains, which are both owned by the Jean Coutu Group(PJC), Inc. Jean Coutu
operates approximately 1,850 retail drug stores in the United States, all under
the Brooks and Eckerd banners. It is the second largest drug store chain in
the Eastern United States. After the merger, the combined Rite Aid / Brooks-Eckerd
chain will operate over 5,000 stores nationwide.
An investigation of
the proposed merger by a group of states, including Maryland,
New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, coordinated
with the Federal Trade Commission’s review, led to agreements
requiring Rite Aid to sell 26 stores in seven different states,
including Maryland. Absent this settlement, the combined Rite Aid
and Eckerd stores would face only limited competition from other
retail drug stores in the Denton area.
“This settlement will maintain strong retail drug store
competition in Denton,” said Attorney Gansler. “As
a result of the agreement, consumers will benefit from lower prices,
wider choices, and improved service.”
In making today’s
announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorneys
General John Tennis and Schonette Walker
and Division Chief Ellen S. Cooper.