The Federal Trade Commission announced that it would require pharmaceutical market research firm IMS Health to sell off two business lines it would acquire as a condition of allowing the firm to buy a competitor in the healthcare analytics field, SDI Health.
IMS to sell off two service lines as part of SDI Health deal
IMS Health—which is owned by Fort Worth, Texas-based private-equity firm TPG Capital Partners through holding company Healthcare Technology Holdings—announced its intentions earlier this year to buy SDI Health for an undisclosed sum. Both firms sell proprietary analytics on trends in healthcare. IMS is based in Danbury, Conn., and SDI is based in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
A news release from the FTC said Friday that antitrust officials filed a challenge to the acquisition simultaneously with a proposed settlement to resolve the challenge. The FTC announcement said IMS agreed to the terms, though company officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
The settlement will require IMS to sell off two business lines because, the FTC complaint says, the combined firm would have virtually no competition in those two areas and thus gain the power to raise prices unilaterally.
IMS will sell off SDI's business units handling promotional audits that help drug companies estimate how much to spend on advertising, as well as SDI's medical audit unit, which tracks the diagnosing and prescribing activity of physicians. Earlier this year, IMS Health won a Supreme Court case upholding its right on free-speech grounds to track physician-prescriber trends.
The FTC administrative order says IMS will have three months from the date of the acquisition to sell the two SDI business units to a buyer approved by the commission.
SDI annually provides Modern Healthcare with the data behind for an annual report ranking the industry's top 100 integrated health networks.
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