FTC Approves Novartis/GSK OTC Venture But Novartis Must Divest Nicotine Patch Biz

Jan 22, 2015

Bidness Etc

The Federal Trade Commission has finally approved the joint venture between Novartis AG and GlaxoSmithKline in consumer health products, but Novartis must divest its Habitrol line of nicotine patches.

As per the April 2014 agreement, Novartis will acquire GSK’s oncology business while handing over its vaccines business to GSK. The two companies also decided to merge their consumer healthcare businesses to become a global leader in that segment.

The FTC announced its final order but deemed the Novartis-GSK deal anti-competitive since Novartis and GSK are the only companies that sell branded versions of nicotine patches in the U.S. The FTC thus asked Novartis to divest its Habitrol and private label nicotine patch business, in order to ensure that the deal was not blocked for being anti-competitive; Novartis agreed.

Read the Bidness Etc press release