The ACCC has announced that it will not oppose GSK’s proposed acquisition of Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business in Australia
The proposed acquisition combines only the over-the-counter side of the two businesses, which include well-known analgesic products such as Panadol, Voltaren and Advil, as well as gastrointestinal and cold and flu products.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission conducted market enquiries and analysed documents and data provided by both GSK and Pfizer.
As a result of the investigation, it has decided that the transaction will not substantially reduce competition in any market in Australia.
Part of the investigation focused on the pain management businesses, in which Pfizer produces Advil, and GSK Panadol and Voltaren.
GSK’s Panadol and rival Reckitt Benckiser’s Nurofen are the market leaders in over-the-counter pain management products in Australia and both have strong market recognition.
“We found that Nurofen would compete strongly with the pain medication produced by a combined GSK/Pfizer,” said ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston.
“Also, the combined businesses would continue to face competition from the range of generic options available to consumers, which contain identical active ingredients and are usually much cheaper.
“Despite its strong brand recognition in America and ongoing marketing expenditure in Australia, Advil’s limited brand recognition in Australia and its limited market share mean Advil is unlikely to be a strong constraint on the leading brands, Panadol and Nurofen, if the acquisition did not go ahead,” Mr Featherston said.
“In relation to gastrointestinal, and cold and flu products, we found that GSK’s and Pfizer’s products have relatively low market share and are constrained by a wide range of branded and generic competing products.”