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FTC Protects Animal Health Care Markets In Approving Pfizer-Wyeth Deal

Posted  October 20, 2009

The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it is clearing Pfizer’s proposed $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth after an extensive investigation.

Under a proposed settlement, the FTC would require the companies to divest assets in the animal health market.  The FTC stated that the divestitures were necessary to preserve competition in multiple U.S. markets for animal pharmaceuticals and vaccines.  The FTC found that the proposed transaction likely would harm competition in those markets by reducing the number of suppliers and leaving vets and other customers of animal health products with limited options.

The FTC concluded that the transaction did not raise anticompetitive concerns in any human health product markets.

The FTC expressed its commitment to ensuring that pharmaceutical markets are competitive and that consumers have access to innovative and affordable medications, as evidenced by its extensive investigation and allocation of resources to the analysis of this merger. The FTC’s complaint and its Analysis to Aid Public Comment on the FTC consent order, both available on the FTC’s website, are useful in understanding the FTC’s methodology when analyzing pharmaceutical markets.

The Commission voted to approve the consent order clearing the transaction but the order will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until November 16, 2009, after which the Commission will decide whether to make it final.

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