Pfizer/AstraZeneca and the public interest: Do UK foreign takeover proposals prescribe an effective remedy?

David Reader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


When US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer sought to acquire its UK-listed counterpart AstraZeneca in 2014, much discussion centred around the possible adverse impact that the merger could have on the UK’s science base, particularly in light of Pfizer’s questionable track record for asset-stripping and cutting investment in Research and Development (R&D). Although the proposed £69 billion (US $117 billion) takeover ultimately crumbled, the prospect of Pfizer returning with an improved offer in the near future has led many to ask whether the United Kingdom should adopt a tougher stance on foreign takeovers that threaten the national interest. The UK’s Business Secretary, Vince Cable MP, has since proposed new safeguards to counteract these perceived threats; but do they represent the best course of action in practice?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalCPI Antitrust Chronicle
VolumeOctober 2014
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014


  • Merger control
  • competition law
  • competition policy
  • foreign investment
  • takeovers
  • Public interest

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