A US judge has allowed the FTC to temporarily block IQVIA’s acquisition of DeepIntent

A US court on Friday upheld an order by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block IQVIA’s acquisition of DeepIntent, a healthcare advertising company, on the grounds that it could harm competition.

DeepIntent, owned by Propel Media, an advertising and digital media company, entered into a 2022 deal with US-based IQVIA to facilitate communication between patients and healthcare providers.

Earlier this year, the FTC stepped in to block a proposed merger between IQVIA and DeepIntent to prevent increased concentration of programmatic advertising in the healthcare industry.

The merger would harm competition and lead to higher prices for consumers at the expense of patients, the FTC said.

In an open letter, DeepIntent’s CEO said the company would exit the deal and remain independent if the regulator is successful. The financial terms of the contract are unknown.

In favor of the FTC, Judge Edgar Ramos granted the US Antitrust Department a preliminary injunction to block the transaction.

In his decision, Mr. Ramos said, “The FTC has shown that there is a reasonable likelihood that the proposed acquisition will substantially harm competition in the relevant market and that fairness weighs in favor of an injunction.”

In an emailed statement to Reuters, IQVIA said it was disappointed by the court’s decision and said it was reviewing it and evaluating its options.

“We submit that the FTC’s arguments in this case are inconsistent with market realities and are not supported by law,” IQVIA said.

DeepIntent did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

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