The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of the Novartis Animal Health business ("NAH") of Switzerland by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company ("Eli Lilly") of the United States under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed transaction does not raise competition concerns, in particular because a number of strong players would remain in the markets after the merger.
NAH and Eli Lilli are active on the markets for animal health products. The transaction creates overlaps between the activities of NAH and Eli Lilly on the markets of parasiticides and antimicrobials for both, companion and production animals in several Member States. The Commission's investigation focused in particular in the markets for endoparasiticides in Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Spain and The Netherlands; heartworm parasiticides in Italy, Spain and Portugal; otitis externa in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, oral / pre-mix antimicrobials for swine in the United Kingdom and in Denmark; oral antimicrobials for rabbits in Spain; and endoparasiticides for sheep in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands.
The Commission's investigation found that, in the above markets, several competitors will remain active after the merger and could become a competitive constraint to the merged entity. Moreover, competitors have entered the market in the past and more entry is expected to occur in the next two to three years. In addition, the Commission's investigation revealed that, in some markets, Eli Lilli and NAH would have no incentive to increase prices in relation to the treatment of particular species, as the products are used for several species.
The Commission therefore concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns.
Friday October 4, 2014/ EC/ European Union.