Healthcare Programmatic Advertising Merger Being Adblocked by FTC

  • The FTC filed an administrative complaint seeking to block IQVIA Holdings Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Propel Media, Inc., alleging that its consummation would negatively impact competition in programmatic advertising for prescription drugs to healthcare professionals.
  • According to the complaint, a merger between IQVIA, the world’s largest healthcare data provider, and Propel, the owner of a leading demand-side platform that targets healthcare professionals (HCPs) with advertising for pharmaceutical drugs and other healthcare products, would substantially lessen competition in the already concentrated HCP programmatic healthcare advertising industry. In addition, the complaint alleges that IQVIA would also be incentivized to withhold key healthcare data that is necessary for programmatic advertising from rival demand-side platforms.
  • The FTC will seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal district court to pause the acquisition pending the agency’s administrative proceeding.