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Pfizer, Pharmacia Review Extended

November 20, 2002

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ The European Union’s antitrust office on Wednesday extended its review of the proposed merger of Pfizer Inc. and Pharmacia Corp. to create the world’s biggest drug company, giving them more time to negotiate concessions for their $60 billion deal.

Although few product overlaps exist in Europe, lawyers anticipated that regulators would require some divestitures.

The delay follows a wave of recent court decisions on merger reviews which went against the EU Commission. In response to court criticisms, the EU says it will more often ``stop the clock″ on its tight schedule for reviewing merger proposals.

The EU asked the companies for more information, but EU Commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres wouldn’t say how much extra time regulators would take.

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