The U.S. Federal Trade Commission OK'd the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz, two Swiss drug companies with major operations in the U.S. The new company, to be called Novartis AG, has already been approved by shareholders and Swiss authorities. Novartis will have annual sales of $26 billion, ranking No. 2 in the pharmaceutical business behind the U.K.'s Glaxo Wellcome. The FTC said the two companies agreed to protect competition in the gene-therapy treatment segment, where both are active.
Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.