THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said it will look further into GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Holdings, Ltd.’s proposed acquisition of Pfizer Inc.’s global consumer health care business to determine if the deal will reduce competition in certain pharmaceutical drug markets.

In a Monday statement, the anti-trust agency said its Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) has launched a Phase II review of the deal between the two global pharmaceutical giants, after the 30-day preliminary review ended April 22.

“The commencement of Phase II Review of the Transaction does not mean that MAO has made a definitive finding of a substantial lessening of competition or has prejudged the result of the review. This only signifies that a more detailed analysis of the Transaction is required using additional information from the Notifying Parties, other market participants, and third parties,” the PCC said.

Under the proposed deal, GSK Consumer Healthcare will acquire Pfizer’s global health care business.

“A more detailed inquiry will be conducted to determine whether the transaction is likely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the following markets: (i) pediatric and (ii) adult antitussives and expectorants; (iii) pediatric analgesics; (iv) nutritive health or multivitamins,” the PCC said.

GSK and Pfizer both offer similar products such as cold and flu treatments, and pain relief treatments. GSK produces Sinecod, Calpol, and Scott’s, while Pfizer’s products include Robitussin, Advil, and Clusivol.

In the Philippines, GSK is present through Duncan Pharmaceuticals Philippines, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Philippines, Inc., which are both responsible for its prescription and vaccine products. GSK’s local consumer health care business is handled by other susbsidaries, namely Duncan Consumer Healthcare Philippines, Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines, Inc.

Meanwhile, its locally based SmithKline Beecham Research Ltd. is dedicated to both prescription and consumer health care activities.

On the other hand, Pfizer is engaged in pharmaceutical business and produces medicines for ailments in different fields, including cardiovascular health, metabolism, oncology, inflammation and immunology. In the country, the consumer health care business is conducted by Pfizer, Inc. (Philippines).

As of April 15, the PCC approved 169 out of 179 merger transactions by local and international companies. The approved transactions have registered a combined worth of P2.83 trillion in terms of transaction value. — Janina C. Lim