PULSE Statement on Finalized Joint Merger Guidelines from FTC, DOJ

Dec 18, 2023 | Press Release

Latest guidance could pose unintended consequences for life science ecosystem, pro-innovation M&A

Washington, D.C. – In response to the latest merger guidelines released today by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ), the Partnership for the U.S. Life Science Ecosystem (PULSE) released the following statement:

“While we are still reviewing the impact of today’s finalized guidelines, there remains significant concerns about the agencies’ antitrust agenda and the implications for pro-innovation mergers and acquisitions (M&A) that are designed to bring new treatments and cures to market with speed and precision. The FTC itself has long acknowledged that M&A allows life sciences companies to combine their complementary resources and expertise, enhance competition, drive investment in innovation and benefit patients. In a dramatic shift, however, the latest merger guidelines introduce unclear standards of competition that create uncertainty, inconsistent application and potential impediments to pro-innovation mergers.

The agencies’ guidelines and recent approach toward M&A broadly suggest that even theoretical and speculative impacts on competition could be enough to deem a life science deal unlawful – an unprecedented expansion of authority that extends beyond the agencies’ remit.

The FTC and DOJ should take a balanced and bipartisan approach towards M&A review and enforcement, acknowledging the unique and differentiated market dynamics that drive the life science ecosystem. The U.S. is home to more than 2,300 biopharmaceutical entities with an industry footprint in every state. Millions of Americans, and the world, depend on U.S. life science innovation for groundbreaking treatments and medicines – a process supported by M&A that advances innovation and competition for the benefit of current and future patients.”