Walgreens, Mylan act to avoid antitrust violations as they pursue mega-deals
- On October 27, Walgreens, the number one drugstore chain in the U.S., announced plans to buy Rite Aid, the third largest drugstore chain. The proposed deal has raised antitrust concerns.
- In its hostile bid for Perrigo, Mylan is also pushing up against antitrust laws. Perrigo shareholders will vote on the deal on November 13. If Mylan gets the 80% of votes needed, it will have to sell seven of its generic medications in order to comply with antitrust regulations, the FTC announced on Tuesday.
- Walgreens says that it's willing to sell 1,000 stores to complete the Rite Aid deal.
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission continue to be vigilant about the specter of biopharma companies breaking antitrust laws and gaining a monopoly in a particular arena. In the last year alone, Turing Pharma, Teva, Pfizer, Actavis, and Valeant, as well as other companies, have all had to either face an antitrust suit or take actions to avoid antitrust allegations.
In the final analysis, there's a difference between being a powerhouse company and leveraging synergies, and having a monopoly and fostering anti-competitive activity.