WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Celgene Corp. have won US antitrust approval for their merger, provided they sell Celgene's psoriasis drug Otezla, the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement Friday.
Amgen has agreed to buy Celgene & # 39; s Otezla business, it said in a statement. Otezla sales were valued at $ 13.4 billion.
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced in January that it would buy Celgene Corp in a cash portfolio of around $ 74 billion, combining two of the world's largest cancer drug companies into the largest pharmaceutical deal ever.
The proposed divestiture is the largest that the FTC or the U.S. Department of Justice has ever required in a merger enforcement case, the FTC said in its statement.
"The Commission has ordered BMS to dispose of Otezla to preserve BMS's incentive to continue developing its own oral product for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis," FTC Chairman Joseph Simons said in a statement.
The five members of the FTC split along party lines to approve the proposed merger, with the three Republicans in favor and two Democrats opposed.
Rebecca Slaughter, who voted to oppose the deal, argued that the FTC's approach to requiring disposition only if the two companies selling treatments for the same complaint was "too narrow."
"The Commission should consider to a greater extent whether any pharmaceutical merger is likely to aggravate the competitive behavior of the merged firm or impede innovation," she said in a dissent statement.
(19659010) (Reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown and Matthew Lewis)