I think this gets it just about right -- the bulk of today's FTC second request likely centers on the Animal Health businesses. What is unknown, still, is whether this was a whopper of a second request, or a fairly mild one. Per Bloomberg, this afternoon:
. . . .If a sale doesn’t settle FTC concerns about competition in the animal drug industry, Merck or Schering-Plough may have to put more products on the market, said David Moskowitz, a Caris & Co. analyst in New York.
“There’s going to be that many more products for sale,” Moskowitz said today by telephone. “It could affect pricing in the sense that Merck really wants to get those approvals.”
Likely suitors for the units include Indianapolis-based Lilly, which wants to expand its animal business, and Paris- based Sanofi, already a partner with Merck in Merial Ltd., maker of the flea-repellant Frontline, Moskowitz said. . . .
The FTC makes a second request for information in a minority of cases to ensure a buyout won’t hurt competition, the commission says on its Web site. Once the companies answer the request, the commission has 30 days to review the material.
Antitrust concerns are unlikely to derail Merck’s purchase of Schering-Plough, said Caris & Co.’s Moskowitz. "Merck absolutely needs this to get done to produce growth over next couple of years,” Moskowitz said. “They’re going to do what they have to do". . . .
Pretty much as I wrote earlier, in fact.