The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given its approval for Amgen's $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, agreeing to a settlement deal it says prevents anticompetitive practices.
The FTC filed a lawsuit back in May to block the transaction, saying the proposed deal would allow Amgen to use rebates on its existing blockbuster drugs to pressure insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers into favoring Horizon’s two key drugs — Tepezza and Krystexxa — neither of which have market competition.
Then, just a few days ago, in a surprising move, the FTC temporarily halted its efforts to block the acquisition — a move that analysts said suggested the FTC's openness to potential settlement talks.
Now, under the settlement terms, Amgen is barred from bundling its products with Horizon's Tepezza or Krystexxa and from using product rebates or contract terms to disadvantage rival products.
“Today’s proposed resolution sends a clear signal that the FTC and its state partners will scrutinize pharmaceutical mergers that enable such practices, and defend patients and competition in this vital marketplace,” said Henry Liu, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.