Amgen settles with the FTC over $28 billion deal
Amgen will be able to move forward with its purchase of Horizon Therapeutics without facing a September trial from the Federal Trade Commission.
In a news release Friday, Amgen said it accepted a proposal from the US antitrust regulator that would allow the $27.8 billion deal under multiple conditions, including that Amgen would not pressure insurance companies and pharmacies to bundle two of Horizon’s medications with its own best-selling drugs.
The FTC filed a complaint against the deal in May, alleging that it was anticompetitive, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. It is the first time the commission has brought a case against a pharmaceutical merger in 14 years.
Horizon’s Tepezza, used to treat thyroid eye disease, and Kystexxa, used to treat chronic refractory gout, were the subjects of the lawsuit. Their respective diseases can only be treated with FDA-approved products. The FTC was concerned that Amgen’s acquisition of these products would stifle competition by making it harder for consumers to access cheaper medicines if they were developed by competitors.
Amgen said Friday that it “has consistently stated to the FTC, the courts, and the public that it has no reason, ability or intention to bundle Horizon’s (Tepezza or Krystexxa) with any of its products.” Amgen said Friday that “this narrow assurance will not have a material impact on its business.”
Additionally, Amgen must notify the FTC if it plans to acquire medications that treat thyroid eye disease or chronic refractory gout. Before acquiring any other companies that manufacture these types of medicines, it must also obtain approval from the FTC. Through 2032, this prior approval process will be in place.
It is expected that the merger will be completed by the end of the year, according to Amgen.