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Pfizer Drops $119 Billion Bid For AstraZeneca

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It would have been the biggest deal the pharmaceutical industry has seen in more than a decade. But for now, it's off the table.

Pfizer has withdrawn its offer to buy British drug company AstraZeneca for about $119 billion.

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which makes Lipitor and Viagra, has been circling its smaller rival AstraZeneca for months.

AstraZeneca, which makes Nexium and Crestor, has rejected every offer saying Pfizer undervalues the company, and that it wants to remain independent.

There were fears that jobs and research facilities in the UK would be lost.

Had the deal gone through, Pfizer could have reincorporated in Britain and taken advantage of lower taxes.

Inversions as they're called, annoy members of Congress who say they erode the U.S. corporate tax base.

Both companies face stiff competition in the future as more and more people turn to less expensive, generic drugs.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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