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EC clears acquisition of Boehringer Ingelheim's business by Sanofi

Staff Writer |
The European Commission has approved the proposed acquisition of the consumer health business of Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim by Sanofi of France, subject to conditions.

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Both companies are active in the pharmaceutical industry. The decision is conditional upon the divestment of a number of Sanofi's and Boehringer Ingelheim's businesses in the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia.

The Commission had concerns that the transaction, as initially notified, would have reduced competition on the markets for several pharmaceutical products. The commitments offered by Sanofi address these concerns.

The Commission examined the effects of the proposed transaction on competition in several therapeutic areas, in particular gastro-intestinal treatments, coughs and colds, pain and mobility, cardiac stimulants, vitamins and well-being.

Most of the products where the companies' activities overlap are consumer health products that can be bought without a doctor's prescription, i.e. so-called over-the-counter (OTC) products.

The investigation found no competition concerns for the majority of the products. However, the Commission identified a few markets where thetwo companies have very strong brands and with a lack of alternatives to the companies' products.

In these markets, the Commission had concerns that the merger, as initially notified, could have led to higher prices and less choice for customers.

To address these concerns, Sanofi offered to divest either its own or Böhringer Ingelheim's local businesses in the markets concerned, including the relevant marketing authorisations, customer information and brands, and personnel.

This package of commitments addresses all of the Commission's competition concerns. The Commission's decision to approve the transaction is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments. The transaction was notified to the Commission on June 15, 2016.

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