May 15, 2014 / 7:31 AM / 4 years ago

EU's Almunia: Pfizer has not discussed AstraZeneca bid with regulators

ST GALLEN, Switzerland, May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer, which has made a $106 billion bid approach to British peer AstraZeneca, has not discussed the proposed deal with European Union regulators, the region’s antitrust chief said on Thursday.

Pfizer is seeking to acquire Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker and may have to sweeten its offer after AstraZeneca rejected the bid.

Companies increasingly engage in informal discussions with competition authorities even before closing a takeover deal in order to gauge possible regulatory concerns and concessions required to allay these.

Asked whether Pfizer had informed the European Commission about its AstraZeneca bid, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters on the sidelines of the St Gallen competition conference: “No contact, no conversation.”

AstraZeneca’s boss said on Wednesday he would engage with Pfizer if the price was right and the risks posed from forcing the British drugmaker’s operations into the U.S. company’s new three-unit model were addressed. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)

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