Is the Teva Pharmaceutical
The agency asked both companies for more information, essentially delaying the approval until after the FTC can review the additional documents. Neither company specified what the FTC requested, but when two large players in the generic-drug industry join forces, antitrust issues are bound to arise.
At this point, the FTC's additional questions probably won't postpone the close of the deal, because there's still plenty of time; the merger was expected to close at the end of the year. Heck, Barr's investors haven't even approved the acquisition yet.
The other large players in the industry, Novartis
I don't have a window into the FTC, but I think this deal gets done. The companies don't have too much overlap: Barr specializes in women's health and has a presence in Europe, thanks to its purchase of Pliva -- which is why Teva is eager to acquire it.
That should be good news for Teva's investors, as the company tries to reach its goal of $20 billion in revenue by 2012. The addition of Barr wouldn't quite get it there, because the companies had combined total sales of $13 billion over the past 12 months. So expect further purchases -- and questions from the FTC -- for Teva.