On October 14, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled with Pfizer Inc. regarding its proposed $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth.
According to the FTC, the proposed transaction would have reduced competition in several U.S. markets for the manufacture and sale of animal vaccines and animal pharmaceutical products. Veterinarians and other animal health product customers could have seen the prices of these goods increase. Furthermore, the FTC believes that the entry of new competitors in these markets would not be timely, likely, nor sufficient to offset the loss of competition.
The consent order requires Pfizer to sell approximately half of Wyeth’s Fort Dodge U.S. animal health business, including vaccines for cattle, dogs, and cats, and other pharmaceutical products used in treating cattle, dogs, cats, and horses, to Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (“Boehringer”), within 10 days of the acquisition. Pfizer is required to provide Boehringer with key services to help it compete after the consummation of the deal. In addition, the order requires Pfizer to return its exclusive distribution rights for a product to treat tapeworms in horses to Virbac S.A., the manufacturer of the product.
Throughout the course of the FTC’s investigation, staff communicated and cooperated with their counterparts in the European Commission’s Competition Directorate (“EC”), and the competition authorities in Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Africa that also are reviewing, or already have reviewed, this proposed merger.