The Deputy Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Competition Bureau today said that he was pleased by the federal District Court order preliminarily enjoining the proposed mergers of the nation’s four largest drug wholesalers into two companies.
“Competition in the market for drug wholesaling is protected as a result of this decision,” said Richard Parker, the Deputy Director.
On March 3, the FTC authorized its staff to seek a federal District Court order to prevent McKesson Corp.’s acquisition of AmeriSource Health Corp., and Cardinal Health, Inc.’s acquisition of Bergen Brunswig Corp. The FTC argued in court for a preliminary injunction to halt both mergers on grounds that they would violate federal antitrust laws by substantially reducing competition in the provision of drug wholesaling services. The federal court decision paves the way for the Commission staff to issue an administrative complaint to permanently enjoin the merger. The FTC has 20 days within which to determine whether to issue the administrative complaint, which would challenge the merger on antitrust grounds and mark the beginning of the administrative trial process.
Copies of the court order will be available upon filing from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-382-4357 (FTC-HELP); TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov