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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

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.

   

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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