Australia's CSL and the USA's Talecris Biotherapeutics have mutually agreed to terminate their proposed $3.1-billion cash merger agreement in the face of the Federal Trade Commission's determination to block the deal.

The FTC had charges that the deal would be illegal and would “substantially reduce competition in the US markets for four plasma-derivative protein therapies" – immune globulin (Ig), albumin, Rho-D, and alpha-1. As such, the agency's antitrust bureau had filed a lawsuit to stop the deal.

As a result, the Melbourne-based company has decided not to proceed with the purchase and its chief executive, Brian McNamee, said the company's board of directors "did not believe that entering into a protracted litigation process with the FTC, with its inherent risks, substantial costs, and lengthy distraction of CSL management and staff from planning and running our businesses would be in the best interests of our stakeholders." He added that "we fundamentally disagree with the FTC case" and "we continue to believe in the many customer benefits and significant financial synergies that supported the transaction"

His counterpart at Talecris, Lawrence Stern, noted that "we have mutually agreed that litigation regarding the antitrust issue was not the path forward". He added that, based on a "careful analysis of the situation and all alternatives available, we believe that termination of the merger agreement is in the best interest of all parties".

CSL will pay a $75-million break-up fee to Talecris, and the companies stressed that a plasma supply contract that was signed in connection with the merger agreement will not be affected.