As if we needed another reason to dislike big pharma mergers. It looks like Merck
Merck owns Merial, maker of flea-and-tick controller Frontline and heartworm preventer Heartgard, in a joint venture with sanofi-aventis
Merck's problems might not just be with regulators. Its partnership with sanofi-aventis appears to preclude it from competing outside the partnership, so it would probably have to sell off some of the assets even if the antitrust regulators didn't have a problem with the merger.
Schering's animal-health division is actually smaller than it could have been. It had to sell off some of its animal-health assets to Pfizer
Who's likely to pony up for the chance to help animals? Almost every pharmaceutical company has an animal health division, and many are trying to get larger. Eli Lilly
Diversification is generally good for investors and companies. Unfortunately, Merck's acquisition isn't going to help it diversify much.
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