Coherent Economics Advises FTC in Settlement With Amgen Over Horizon Acquisition

On Friday, September 1, 2023, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that the FTC and attorneys general from California, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin had reached an agreement with Amgen Inc. to settle their challenge to Amgen’s $27.8 billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics plc. Coherent Economics and Coherent Senior Affiliate Professor David S. Sibley, the John Michael Stuart Centennial Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin, served as economic advisors to the FTC in this matter.

The settlement concerns future conduct by Amgen relating to Horizon’s “orphan drugs” Tepezza and Krystexxa, which are currently the only drugs available to treat patients suffering from the rare conditions of thyroid eye disease (TED) and chronic refractory gout (CRG), respectively. As part of the settlement, Amgen is prohibited from bundling any Amgen products with these orphan drugs, and is prohibited from conditioning product rebates related to Amgen products on the sale or positioning of these orphan drugs. The settlement also prohibits Amgen from acquiring any additional products – including pre-commercial products – or businesses involved in the manufacture or sale of products that treat TED or CRG. Amgen will be required to submit to oversight by a monitor, as well as by the FTC and the states.

In addition to serving as economic advisor to the FTC, Professor Sibley submitted an expert report in the FTC’s federal court case against Amgen, a case which sought to block the acquisition, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Throughout the course of the engagement Coherent worked closely with FTC staff from the Bureau of Competition and the Bureau of Economics. Professor Sibley was supported by a team at Coherent Economics that included Dr. Vivek Shah, Dr. Alan Frankel, Dr. Rob Maness, Megan Hart, Matt Gunden, Dr. Michael Naaman, Professor Daniel Shoag, Jack Kurila, and Disovankiri Boung.

The FTC’s press release concerning the settlement can be found here:

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