NEWS31 October 2011

IMS to sell SDI audit businesses to appease FTC

M&A North America

US— IMS Health is buying healthcare data rival SDI but will have to sell two of SDI’s business lines in order to assuage concerns the acquisition would be anticompetitive.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lodged a complaint about the takeover earlier this year fearing it would make IMS far too dominant in both promotional audits – which track advertising and promotional activities for branded drugs – and medical audits – which measure the medical diagnoses made and therapies provided by doctors.

According to the FTC, SDI and IMS together control 98% of the market for promotional audits and 100% for medical audits. It said the acquisition as proposed was likely to “increases prices for market research products in the healthcare industry”.

The sale of the two SDI business lines must occur within three months of the completion of the acquisition, according to the FTC’s proposed settlement order, during which time IMS must keep those assets separate from its other businesses. If a buyer is not found within the alloted time, the FTC can appoint a trustee to sell the assets.

Pictured is IMS chairman and CEO Ari Bousbib.