The Federal Trade Commission will require pharmaceutical market research firm IMS Health to sell off two business lines it would acquire in a deal to buy a competitor in the healthcare analytics field, SDI Health. IMS Health—which is owned by Fort Worth, Texas-based private-equity firm TPG through holding company Healthcare Technology Holdings—announced this year it would buy SDI Health for an undisclosed sum.
Late News: IMS must sell two business lines to buy competitor: FTC
Both firms sell proprietary analytics on trends in healthcare. The FTC filed an administrative antitrust challenge simultaneously with a proposed settlement, which calls for IMS to sell off SDI's business unit 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.
The FTC says in the complaint that the combined firm would have almost no competition in those two areas and thus gain the power to raise prices unilaterally. IMS agreed to the terms, according to an FTC news release. Company officials could not be reached for comment. 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 for an annual report ranking the industry's top 100 integrated health networks.
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