Pfizer/Warner-Lambert merger gets FTC nod

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The Federal Trade Commission on June 19 cleared the way for the $90 billion merger of Pfizer and Warner-Lambert Co. by accepting a consent agreement from the marketers. Under the agreement, the new company, to be called Pfizer, would end Warner-Lambert's co-marketing deal with Forest Laboratories on antidepressant Celexa (Pfizer markets the competing Zoloft); divest Pfizer's Rid head lice treatment business to Bayer Corp. (Warner-Lambert markets competitor Nix); divest all of Warner-Lambert's interests related to the Alzheimer's disease drug Cognex to First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corp. (Pfizer markets Alzheimer's treatment Aricept); and transfer and give up all of Pfizer's assets related to an anticancer drug in development to OSI Pharmaceuticals (Warner-Lambert has a similar product in the pipeline). The merger could lead to a shake-up in some agency assignments; the most prominent issue to be settled is what will happen to the new company's huge $700-plus million combined media budget.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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