Amgen gets green light from FTC for $27.8B Horizon Therapeutics deal

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will allow Amgen to continue a $27.8 billion purchase of Horizon Therapeutics, while preventing the drugmaker from using anticompetitive tactics to extend the market dominance of two Horizon drugs.

The FTC filed a lawsuit on May 16 to stop the deal but suspended its challenge in late August, allowing the agency time to consider whether it should settle the case.

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“The order announced today prohibits Amgen from engaging in any cross-product bundling or exclusionary rebating schemes involving Horizon’s monopoly drugs,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. “Because this deal would not give a firm control over products or services that its rivals use to compete, it does not raise traditional concerns about degrading competitors’ access to key inputs or improper information exchange, which can be achieved through subtle and varied means that are difficult to detect.”

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The FTC was concerned that Amgen would leverage its drugs to secure favorable insurance coverage terms for Horizon’s thyroid eye disease treatment Tepezza and gout drug Krystexxa.

Under the settlement, Amgen is prohibited from bundling any of its products with Tepezza or Krystexxa. Amgen also cannot use any product rebate or contract term to exclude or disadvantage any product that would compete with those drugs. It also prevents Amgen from buying any competitors to the two Horizon drugs without the FTC’s permission.

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Consolidation in the industry has given companies the power to engage in exclusionary practices that can cause prices for essential medications to surge, the FTC said in a statement.

The companies said they anticipate closing the deal in the fourth quarter.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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