Merck - Schering-Plough merger approved bu US, Swiss and Canadian regulators

Merck and Schering-Plough have announced having received clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Swiss Competition Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau for their proposed 441-billion merger.

The two companies said that the FTC terminated the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and cleared the pending merger.

The companies also said that the Canadian Competition Bureau terminated the waiting period under the Canadian Competition Act and cleared the proposed transaction.

"Clearances from the FTC, the Swiss Competition Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau mark significant steps in the completion of our merger with Schering-Plough,'' said Richard T. Clark, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck.

"As we work with regulators on the remaining approvals necessary for the close, we stand ready to serve patient needs as a new global healthcare leader," Clark added.

The transaction remains subject to approval from other regulators, including China and Mexico. Merck and Schering-Plough continue to expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2009 (See: Merck, Schering-Plough shareholder approve $41-billion deal)