Amazon's telehealth expansion pushes shares of rival Teladoc lower

  • Shares of Teladoc dipped Wednesday after Amazon announced it plans to roll out its telehealth service for its employees nationally.
  • Amazon Care, which launched as a pilot program two years ago, will allow employees in all 50 states to access virtual urgent care visits and free telehealth consults, starting this summer.
  • Amazon's new venture could become a threat to Teladoc's services as it continues to roll out.

Shares of Teladoc, a provider of virtual doctor visits, dipped as much as 8% Wednesday morning after Amazon announced it plans to roll out its telehealth service for its employees nationally.

Amazon Care, which launched as a pilot program two years ago, will allow employees in all 50 states to access virtual urgent care visits and free telehealth consults, starting this summer. The company also plans to offer its health program to other employers nationwide.

Telehealth has been among the massive growth stories of this past year, as consumers seek out alternatives to traditional brick-and-mortar doctor visits in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. That's led to growth and a jump in users for Teladoc, a leader in the space. Up until Wednesday's announcement, the company's stock was up more than 70% year over year.

But Amazon's new venture could threaten Teladoc's services as it continues to roll out.

Amazon also has a history of spooking investors when it comes to pushing into new spaces.

Last November, the company sent shares of traditional pharmacy giants and GoodRx, a company that finds users prescription drugs at a discount, plunging after it launched Amazon Pharmacy. Additionally, when Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods in 2017, stock in grocers and big box retailers also plummeted.

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