October 29, 2009 / 8:26 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-U.S. FTC ok's Merck-Schering deal with conditions

* Schering to sell rolapitant drug to Opko Health

* Merck sold interest in Merial animal health business (Adds background, quote)

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - U.S. antitrust regulators approved drugmaker Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) $41.1 billion takeover of rival Schering-Plough Corp SGP.N on condition that each company sell some assets, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

Schering-Plough agreed to sell its rolapitant drug, a treatment for nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients, as part of a proposed consent order with the government. The rolapitant drug, which was in the process of being licensed, will be sold to Opko Health Inc (OPK.A).

Merck has agreed to sell its interest in Merial Ltd, an animal health business, to its French partner in the joint venture, Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA), in response to regulators’ concerns, the FTC said.

Last week, European Union antitrust regulators approved the deal.

“The consent order announced today addresses the competitive concerns related to Schering-Plough’s proposed acquisition of Merck,” said Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “The commission analyzed the likely impact of this proposed transaction and is confident that its order will ensure continued competition in the relevant human and animal health care markets.”

A copy of the consent order was posted at: here .

Reporting by Julie Vorman

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