FTC Puts Conditions on Sun Pharmaceutical’s Proposed Acquisition of Ranbaxy

Order Protects Competition for Generic Antibacterial Drug Minocycline

For Release

Pharmaceutical companies Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. have agreed to divest Ranbaxy’s interests in generic minocycline tablets  in order to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that Sun’s $4 billion proposed acquisition of Ranbaxy would likely be anticompetitive. Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., a global drug company based in India that markets generic drugs in the United States, will acquire the divested assets.

Generic minocycline tablets are used to treat a wide array of bacterial infections, including pneumonia, acne, and urinary tract infections. According to the FTC’s complaint, the proposed merger would likely harm future competition by reducing the number of suppliers in the U.S. markets for three dosage strengths (50 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg) of generic minocycline tablets. Ranbaxy is currently one of three suppliers of the products, while Sun is one of only a limited number of firms likely to sell generic minocycline tablets in the United States in the near future. Sun’s entry likely would have resulted in significantly lower prices for these drugs.

Under the proposed settlement, Sun and Ranbaxy must also sell Ranbaxy’s generic minocycline capsule assets to Torrent, to enable Torrent to achieve regulatory approval for a change in ingredient suppliers for its minocycline tablets as quickly as Ranbaxy would have been able to do in the absence of the deal. In addition, Sun and Ranbaxy must supply generic minocycline tablets and capsules to Torrent until the company establishes its own manufacturing infrastructure. The FTC has appointed an interim monitor to ensure that Torrent receives the support it needs from Sun and Ranbaxy during the divestiture process.

More information about this proposed merger and the FTC’s consent agreement can be found in the analysis to aid public comment.

The Commission vote to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 5-0.

The FTC will publish the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through March 3, 2015, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Comments can be filed electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the Federal Register notice.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per day.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs

Aylin M. Skroejer
Bureau of Competition