EU Commission approves Johnson & Johnson’s proposed €26.8bn acquisition of Actelion, subject to conditions. As Johnson & Johnson’s proposal hit the news earlier this year in January, the company signed an acquisition agreement with new drugs for diseases with significant unmet medical need manufacturer, Actelion Pharmaceuticals.
After research, the European Commission Competition department concluded that the acquisition could proceed, if both companies apply the agreed remedies. As Johnson & Johnson and Actelion both develop and sell innovative pharmaceutical products and their activities are largely complementary,the Commission’s investigation focused on two areas where the medicinal products and research programmes of the two companies compete: treatments for multiple sclerosis; and treatments for insomnia.
As for treatments for multiple sclerosis, the Commission found no concerns in this regard, since Actelion’s medicine under development is likely to be used in a different setting than Biogen’s products, that Johnson & Johnson produces. As for insomnia treatments, both Johnson & Johnson and Actelion are currently developing treatments, and their merger would not allow sufficient level of competition if one of the two research and development programmes (R&D) were discontinued after the merger.