The PillPack website is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Washington, D.C. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Amazon Snatched PillPack Away From Walmart

(Bloomberg) -- Walmart Inc. was close to landing an almost $1 billion deal to buy online pharmacy PillPack. Then came Amazon.com Inc.

The e-commerce behemoth swooped in with a slightly richer offer after CNBC reported in April that Walmart was about to purchase the startup, a person close to the deal said. PillPack’s founders also felt Amazon’s pitch for the long-term future of its business was more compelling, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks weren’t public. A Walmart representative didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Amazon’s move.

The deal is the latest salvo in the battle between Walmart and Amazon for dominance in retail. Walmart acquired Jet.com, founded by a former top Amazon lieutenant, in 2016 for $3.3 billion to boost its game in online commerce.

The CNBC story also triggered a third PillPack suitor, from the pharmaceutical industry, but Seattle-based Amazon still won out, the person familiar with the deal said. The person didn’t give the name of the third company.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.