The long-suffering deal's implosion preserves the three largest drugstore chains as independent entities, but the new agreement will still make Walgreens Boots Alliance, its official name, the nation's largest by number of locations, edging archrival CVS Health.
With the new agreement, Walgreens would have more than 10,200 U.S.
Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina said the new deal would allow the company to make its stores more efficient, with a goal of wringing out $400 million in annual "synergies." That often includes cost cuts and purchasing improvements.
For Walgreens, the new accord is also significantly less expensive.
Tad Lipsky, acting director of FTC's Bureau of Competition, said the agency had "thoroughly investigated the potential impact" of the originally proposed deal and several revised offers but that the companies "voluntarily withdrew." Rite Aid is exiting South Carolina, Utah and Indiana, and will have one or two stores apiece in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Maine, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Kentucky and Nevada.