‘The sleep­ing gi­ant is wak­ing up’: FTC rais­es the pres­sure on phar­ma deal­mak­ing

In 2020, the Fed­er­al Trade Com­mis­sion nar­row­ly ap­proved Ab­b­Vie’s $65 bil­lion takeover of Al­ler­gan. It’s un­like­ly the an­titrust en­forcer would ap­prove such a deal to­day.

The com­mis­sion’s ap­proval was ac­com­pa­nied by a 20-page dis­sent from then-Com­mis­sion­er Ro­hit Chopra, who crit­i­cized the FTC’s han­dling of the merg­er and oth­ers like it. Let­ting the deal close based on an or­der that Ab­b­Vie di­vest over­lap­ping prod­ucts was a “nar­row, flawed and in­ef­fec­tive” ap­proach to reg­u­lat­ing ma­jor phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal trans­ac­tions, Chopra ar­gued.

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