Federal Judge Blocks IQVIA’s Acquisition of Propel Media, Citing Antitrust Concerns

January 2, 2024

A U.S. federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) request, blocking IQVIA’s proposed acquisition of Propel Media and its subsidiary DeepIntent, which specializes in data-driven healthcare marketing. The FTC had filed a complaint in July to halt the acquisition. Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York ruled that the merger could significantly impair competition in the relevant market.

IQVIA expressed disappointment with the decision and is considering its options, disagreeing with the FTC’s stance. The FTC’s concern centers on the potential reduction of competition, as IQVIA and DeepIntent are two of the top three programmatic advertising companies in healthcare. The FTC argues that the merger would give IQVIA a disproportionate market share and could lead to data withholding from competitors.

The third major player in the market, PulsePoint, reportedly faced data access issues from IQVIA. The merger is now delayed pending an FTC administrative review. Experts, like Matt Stoller of the American Economic Liberties Project, suggest that the deal may collapse, indicating a shift in how courts view aggressive antitrust enforcement under the Biden administration.

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[Source: Endpoints, January 2nd, 2023]

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