Media Releases

Commerce Commission to consider pharmaceuticals merger

29 April 2015

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Pfizer Inc. seeking clearance to acquire all of the shares in Hospira Inc.

Pfizer is a global pharmaceutical company with a focus on the research and development of new pharmaceutical products. In New Zealand, Pfizer sells a range of consumer and prescription pharmaceuticals and operates through its subsidiaries Pfizer New Zealand Limited and Pfizer PFE.

Hospira is a global company which focuses on the production and distribution of injectable pharmaceuticals and medication delivery devices. In New Zealand, Hospira operates through its subsidiary Hospira NZ Limited.

Neither Pfizer nor Hospira operates any manufacturing facilities in New Zealand.

The proposed acquisition relates to a global merger between Pfizer and Hospira. In its application, Pfizer has identified four molecule areas where there would be overlap between it and Hospira. These are in the supply of:

  • Gentamicin based medicines (a form of aminoglycoside, used to treat serious bacterial infections);
  • Heparin based medicines (used primarily as anticoagulants to prevent blood clots);
  • Morphine based medicines (narcotics used to relieve acute and chronic pain); and
  • Phenytoin based medicines (used in the treatment and control of epilepsy).

Pfizer has also identified six molecule areas where there is potential overlap between it and Hospira.

A copy of Pfizer’s application can be found on the clearances register.


Assessing an application for a merger or acquisitionWhen considering a proposed merger or acquisition, the Commission must decide whether the competition that is lost in a market when two businesses merge is substantial. We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

A fact sheet explaining how the Commission assesses a merger application is available on the clearances page.