WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators on Tuesday cleared British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline's $3 billion takeover of U.S. dermatology business Stiefel Laboratories Inc.
The Federal Trade Commission said it completed its review of the buyout, which was announced in April.
Privately owned Stiefel, the world's biggest independent dermatology company, makes prescription and over-the-counter medications including acne treatments, other skin creams, lotions, washes and vitamins. The Coral Gables, Fla.-based company put itself up for sale earlier this year.
Glaxo has moved to replace falling sales of older drugs that face generic competition by diversifying.
The deal comes amid a recent series of mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry as companies take advantage of low interest rates and stock prices to gobble up competitors.
In March, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche completed its $47 billion buyout of the share of biotech pioneer Genentech it didn't already own. Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc. is buying rival Wyeth in a $68 billion deal expected to close in the third or fourth quarter, and Merck & Co. is acquiring Schering-Plough Corp. in a $41.1 billion acquisition.
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline fell 11 cents to $34.10 in afternoon trading.