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Brussels, 23 rd October 2009

Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Schering-Plough by Merck

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the US healthcare company Schering-Plough by the US global pharmaceutical company Merck. The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area ("EEA") or any substantial part of it.

Merck is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company active in pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Schering-Plough is a global science-based healthcare company, active in human prescription pharmaceuticals, animal health and over-the-counter ("OTC") consumer healthcare.

The Commission's investigation looked at a large number of national pharmaceutical markets in the area of human health, where overlaps of existing products or products under development between Merck's and Schering-Plough's activities might possibly occur, for example in the field of products for asthma and allergic rhinitis. The Commission found that competition concerns could be excluded in these markets, because Merck's and Schering-Plough's products were not close competitors and a sufficient number of credible competitors would remain in the market after the proposed transaction.

With respect to animal health, any overlaps were removed by Merck selling its 50% share in the joint-venture Merial to Sanofi-Aventis, giving Sanofi-Aventis sole control and thus ensuring competition in the market. This transaction was approved by the Commission on 15 September 2009 under the simplified merger procedure (see ).

More information on the case will be available at:

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