SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge dismissed an antitrust complaint challenging the merger of Pfizer and Wyeth. U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney ruled that smaller competitors failed to specify how the merger would eliminate competition in pharmaceuticals. The ruling came on the heels of the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of the merger, and brought furious complaints from lead attorney Joseph Alioto.
In an interview, Alioto, lead attorney for Golden Gate pharmacy, called the ruling “very unfortunate” and “contrary to the law.”
“Not giving us a hearing is unbelievable,” Alioto said. “This is the largest pharmaceutical merger in the history of the U.S. Half of the money is being supplied by banks that received TARP funds, and received those funds to create jobs, not to suppress competition and fire people.”
Alioto said he suspects Chesney’s ruling was influenced by the FTC decision. He said that though the FTC frequently makes such decisions on the eve of antitrust rulings, “Other judges are usually angry about it and do not go along with it but recognize it as being a sleazy tactic.”
Alioto said an amended complaint has already been filed, asking the court, among other things, to prohibit Pfizer-Wyeth from going through with plans to fire 20,000 employees.
“Hopefully, the court will give us the courtesy of due process and give us a hearing,” Alioto said.