ACCC approves GSK-Pfizer medication deal

pfizer4Australia’s consumer watchdog does not oppose a bid by Panadol and Voltaren supplier GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to buy Pfizer’s Australian consumer healthcare business.

The ACCC announced on Thursday it did not oppose the proposed acquisition of Pfizer’s over-the-counter businesses by GSK.

“After conducting market inquiries and analysing documents and data provided by GSK and Pfizer, the ACCC considers that the transaction will not substantially lessen competition in any market in Australia,” the ACCC said in a statement.

The two pharmaceutical giants announced in December they would combine their consumer health businesses in a joint venture that would be 68 percent-owned by GSK. The ACCC said products produced and sold by GSK and Pfizer in Australia would face strong competition from other players. For example, GSK’s well-known pain management product – Panadol – would face strong competition from Reckitt Benckiser’s Nurofen.

“Also, the combined businesses would continue to face competition from the range of generic options available to consumers… and are usually much cheaper,” ACCC commissioner Roger Featherston said.

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