Reed Smith Client Alerts

A Multilateral Pharmaceutical Merger Task Force, formed by key antitrust enforcement agencies, has recently announced its intention to review and update the analysis of pharmaceutical mergers.
Pills spilling out of an open pill bottle

The task force includes representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Canadian Competition Bureau, the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and the offices of state attorneys general.

It is currently seeking information from the public regarding the effects of mergers in the pharmaceuticals sector. This information will be used to update and inform the future analysis of pharmaceutical mergers by the task force’s constituent agencies. The review comes at a time of general concern among antitrust agencies that merger reviews in markets characterized by innovation (like pharma) have failed to properly assess the impact of mergers on future R&D competition.

The initiative launched following concern within the agencies that their approach to reviewing pharmaceutical mergers does not take into account the modern competitive landscape in the sector, in particular rapidly changing drug development and manufacturing approaches. The task force has clearly expressed its focus on exploring new, refreshed theories of harm to better address all anticompetitive effects from pharmaceutical mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and consolidation, and understand when concerns are likely to arise and how best to challenge and oppose mergers.