EU Clears $68B Pfizer-Wyeth Deal

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pfizer Inc. said Friday European Union antitrust regulators cleared its $68 billion purchase of rival Wyeth.

The European Commission approved the deal, and Pfizer said it committed to divesting some businesses in the EU. Pfizer agreed to buy Wyeth in January, but approvals from regulators and governments on several continents are required due to the size of the businesses involved.

Pfizer also said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce extended its review of the deal beyond the initial 30 days. A 90-day regulatory review in the U.S. is continuing, and Wyeth shareholders will also need to approve the sale.

New York-based Pfizer is already the world's largest drug maker by revenue, and the acquisition of Wyeth, the twelfth-largest in 2008, would expand its lead.

Pfizer said it expects the deal to close in the fall, at the end of the third quarter or during the fourth quarter. In afternoon trading, Pfizer stock slipped 12 cents to $14.95. Shares of Madison, N.J.-based Wyeth lost 7 cents to $46.10.

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