CSL says U.S. regulators oppose Talecris merger

A sit-down with regulators at the FTC a few days ago left executives at CSL convinced the agency will move quickly to block its proposed $3.1 billion merger with Talecris Biotherapeutics.

CSL announced that FTC staffers had recommended that the agency's commissioners launch legal action to prevent the biotech merger on antitrust grounds. "A vote and decision by the commissioners is imminent, likely to be announced by May 28 Washington time," the company said in a statement.

Bloomberg reports that a successful merger would allow CSL--an Australian company--to vault ahead of Baxter International as the leading company in the $15 billion market for therapies derived from blood plasma. Research Triangle Park-based Talecris is owned by Cerberus Partners and Ampersand Ventures.

If the FTC does take action, it could indicate that the feds under the Obama administration will become much more zealous in guarding against new acquisitions that create market-dominating companies. That would follow years of antitrust inactivity under the Bush administration.

- read the report from the New York Times 

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