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Today, FreedomWorks Foundation and activists from 25 states submitted a formal comment to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding the request for public input to the Task Force as it considers updating the analysis of pharmaceutical mergers. In addition to the FTC, the Task Force is composed of the Canadian Competition Bureau, the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ), and Offices of State Attorneys General.
As we pointed out in the comment excerpted below, mergers and acquisitions already receive tremendous governmental scrutiny at the federal level and potentially international and state levels, and the government has the tools it needs to block problematic mergers. Moreover, the FTC did not indicate any reason why creating new standards for just one industry is necessary. The text of the formal comment can be found here, in the attachment at the bottom of this page, and is excerpted directly below:
The current FTC guidelines are well-settled and informed by court decisions. They provide guidance to companies as they contemplate mergers and acquisitions. Creating new guidelines would inject uncertainty in the pharmaceutical space, which is a vital industry to the health and well-being of people around the globe.
Legal uncertainty is the enemy of investment and innovation. Maintaining a climate favorable to risk-taking is nowhere more important than in the pharma sector, where innovations lead to literally life-saving products. If the FTC truly believes that it does not have sufficient authority or information to analyze pharmaceutical mergers and acquisitions, it should be transparent and explain what it lacks to better inform public input. Otherwise, if the system isn’t broken, why is the FTC seeking to fix it?