Supermarket operator Albertsons will buy the rest of Rite Aid not being sold to Walgreens, the latest in a string of drug industry mergers to tackle the threat of Amazon.
Albertsons said its buyout, which will allow it to unify its own retail pharmacy operations under the Rite Aid brand, would give it greater clout with patients and drug industry players alike.
Albertsons owns about 2,300 supermarket stores mainly on the East and West coasts of the United States and also operates about 1,800 pharmacies.
Rite Aid owns about 2,569 drug stores, after it sold 1,932 pharmacies to Walgreens for $4.38 billion.
The deal also follows Amazon's move to team up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co to form a not-for-profit company to provide health care for their employees, challenging the existing U.S. healthcare system.
The threat of Amazon making further inroads has jolted U.S. drug store chains into action after several years of declines in traffic and sales at front-end stores.