US/EU: US wants tough Pfizer merger review, EU has yet to be notified

Six US Senators have approached the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission expressing concern over the proposed merger between Pfizer and AstraZeneca, despite the fact that a formal merger deal has yet to be made.

Reports say the senators, all Democrats, are urging the regulators to conduct a strict review of the merger should it proceed, writing that “Pfizer’s record of reducing efforts to innovate and bring new products to market following prior acquisitions is plain.”

The lawmakers cited a 2009 acquisition by Pfizer of Wyeth Laboratories that resulted in research and development site closures.

Regulators are already concerned of a deal, but AstraZeneca has so far rejected Pfizer’s $106 billion bid. Still, the US pharmaceutical is expected to continue the pursuit of its UK rival.

Despite concern within the US, EU officials have yet to be approached about a possible deal, reports say.

Pfizer has not made contact with the European Commission to discuss a deal, European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Thursday.

Earlier reports had speculated that UK regulators would likely face a struggle in winning jurisdiction to review the mega-merger over the Commission.

Full content: Reuters and The Telegraph

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