December 19, 2016 / 5:59 PM / 2 years ago

Mexico raises cough medicine objection to Sanofi-Boehringer deal

MEXICO CITY, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Mexico’s antitrust body on Monday said it had made local approval of an asset swap between French drugmaker Sanofi and Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim conditional on Sanofi not acquiring its peer’s cough medicines in Mexico.

Mexico’s Federal Economic Competition Commission said in a statement that a proposed merger of Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim assets in Mexico would give Sanofi the capacity to fix prices or restrict supplies of cough medicines.

The agency said the merger in Mexico would take away leading cough market seller Sanofi’s closest competitor and increase its market share even more over smaller competitors.

The agency, known as Cofece, said the swap would only be authorized if Sanofi did not buy three brands of cough medicine, Bisolvon, Mucosolvan and Sekretovit.

Sanofi’s bid for Boehringer’s consumer health unit is part of a $20-billion asset swap, with the German company taking over its animal health arm, that has already received approval from European Union antitrust authorities. (Reporting by Michael O’Boyle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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