EU regulators set Oct. 3 deadline for Eli Lilly, Novartis deal

BRUSSELS, Sept 1 Mon Sep 1, 2014 6:50am EDT

BRUSSELS, Sept 1 (Reuters) - European Union competition regulators have until Oct. 3 to decide whether to approve U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co's $5.4 billion bid for Swiss peer Novartis's animal health business.

The deal, which will create the world's second-largest animal health company, was notified to the European Commission last week, the EU antitrust authority's website showed on Monday.

The takeover is one of several deals announced recently in the pharmaceutical industry, including Roche Holding AG's $8.3 billion bid for InterMune Inc, and AbbVie Inc's $54 billion offer for Shire Plc. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Michael Urquhart)