May 9, 2019 / 1:09 AM / 5 months ago

GSK-Pfizer deal gets approval from Australia's anti-trust watchdog

FILE PHOTO: The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) logo is seen on top of GSK Asia House in Singapore, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Loriene Perera/File Photo

(Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline’s deal to buy Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business will not lesson competition in Australia, the country’s anti-trust regulator said on Thursday as it approved the deal.

The two pharmaceutical giants in December said they would combine their consumer health businesses in a joint venture that would be 68 percent-owned by GSK.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said products produced and sold by GSK and Pfizer in Australia would face strong competition from other players.

For example, GSK’s well-known pain management product - Panadol - would face strong competition from Reckitt Benckiser’s Nurofen.

“Also, the combined businesses would continue to face competition from the range of generic options available to consumers ... and are usually much cheaper,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said in a statement.

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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