Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked the companies' CEOs whether they would consider divesting their components that administer specialty prescriptions—and control 52% of that market—or other components if the FTC allows the merger to go through. Company representatives rejected divestiture for a variety of reasons.
At least one witness, David Balto, a Washington antitrust attorney, testified that divestiture of individual components generally would do little to mitigate the reduced competition and transparency that would result from the merger.
Such concerns stemmed from an overall 64% market share that the combined firm would have, while the next largest competitor would control only 24%. Company representatives countered that such concerns are overblown because 40 other—albeit much smaller—competitors would remain.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) added that he is “certain” that the FTC is examining the impact that reduced competition resulting from the merger would have on beneficiaries. The proposed deal has drawn opposition from several organizations, including Consumers Union, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association, and was scrutinized in a September hearing of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet.