Pfizer sees no antitrust hurdles from buying AstraZeneca

LONDON Tue May 13, 2014 5:45am EDT

LONDON May 13 (Reuters) - Pfizer Chief Executive Ian Read said on Tuesday he did not believe there would be antitrust problems in taking over British drugmaker AstraZeneca .

"We don't see any substantial antitrust issues on this deal anywhere in the world," Read told a panel of British lawmakers.

The U.S. drugmaker has fuelled a major political row with its $106 billion plan to acquire AstraZeneca, which has been rebuffed by the smaller British company.

The deal would be the largest foreign takeover of a British firm and is opposed by many scientists, trade unions and politicians who fear for British science jobs given Pfizer's track record of cost cutting after past acquisitions.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Kate Holton)

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