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Walgreens Boots Alliance has dropped its plan to acquire Rite Aid for $9.4 billion and will instead pay $5.18 billion to buy about 2,000 Rite Aid stores, the companies said Thursday. The chains proposed the original merger in 2015 but faced strong opposition from antitrust regulators, and the end of the deal also terminates a plan to sell some Rite Aid stores to Fred's Pharmacy.

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