Horizon Therapeutics (HZNP) shares have jumped more than 5.5% in trading began Monday after the FTC announced it would suspend its challenge to the drugmaker's acquisition by Amgen (AMGN).
Points to remember
- Shares of Horizon Therapeutics jumped more than 5.5% in early trading Monday after the FTC announced it would suspend its challenge to Amgen's acquisition of the drugmaker. /li>
- The FTC originally filed a lawsuit against Amgen's takeover of Horizon on May 16, alleging that Amgen may be exploiting the latter's lifesaving drug portfolio for anticompetitive practices.
- This challenge reflects the FTC's tougher approach to antitrust policy under President Lina Khan, which has aggressively cracked down on mergers and acquisitions deemed anti-competitive.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on Friday that it was suspending efforts to prevent Amgen's $27.8 billion purchase of Horizon Therapeutics, which had been initiated on the grounds that a merger could limit competition in the market for life-saving drugs used to treat two serious diseases. The break is in effect until September 18.
In a rare effort to prevent a pharmaceutical merger, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Amgen's takeover of Horizon on May 16, alleging that Amgen may exploit the latter's portfolio of drugs used to treat thyroid eye disease and refractory chronic gout, which have no competition in this area. the market – to put pressure on insurance companies and hospitals to favor these products over potential competitors, including by placing them on the list of covered drugs of insurers and pharmacies. The result would be less innovation, dramatically higher drug prices, and reduced patient access to lifesaving drugs.
Amgen challenged the FTC's lawsuit, saying in a press release that its acquisition “will provide significant benefits to patients with life-threatening rare diseases in the United States and around the world.” The company is expected to argue with the FTC in federal court in Chicago next month, and the two sides can reach a settlement in the meantime.
This challenge reflects the FTC's tougher approach to antitrust policy under President Lina Khan, who took office in 2021. Under her tenure, the FTC has aggressively tackled mergers and acquisitions it sees as anti-competitive, focusing on big tech companies like Apple (AAPL). ), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Meta Platforms (META), and Google's parent Alphabet (GOOGL). More recently, the FTC unsuccessfully tried to block Microsoft's $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard and withdrew its efforts in July.
The actions of Horizon Therapeutics just fell less than 1% so far this year, Amgen's down 2%. Their performance is roughly in line with that of the broader S&P 500 healthcare sector, down 1% year-to-date.
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