March 9, 2012 / 6:46 PM / 6 years ago

US increasingly unlikely to block Medco/Express-WSJ

WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - U.S. antitrust regulators appear increasingly unlikely to block pharmaceutical benefits giant Express Scripts’ purchase of rival Medco Health Solutions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Federal Trade Commission is meeting with the companies to reach an agreement on what conditions to put on the $29 billion deal, the newspaper said in an online report.

Critics of the deal have said allowing the merger of two of the three largest pharmaceutical benefit managers would lead to higher prices and worse service for patients.

The report also said that the FTC had reached agreement with the companies on extending a deadline for the agency’s decision. That deadline had been Monday.

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