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CCI approves MedLife-PharmEasy merger despite opposition from chemists’ body

Without disclosing any detail on the structure, the Competition Commission of India said it has approved the merger of MedLife with larger online pharmacy PharmEasy. The companies had filed for merger in August, and proposed a combination wherein API Holdings, the parent company of Pharmeasy will acquire a 100% stake in MedLife; in return, MedLife will acquire a 19.9% in the combined entity. The merger has come through despite opposition from the Delhi-based South Chemists & Druggists Association, which argued that onlne pharmacies are not allowed under the law, and hence the CCI cannot permit "combination for an illegal purpose". In a representation to the CCI last week, the association had said that the proposed merger is essentially "that of two e-pharmacies as well as companies involved in the distribution chain". It also said that the deep discounting by e-pharmacies…

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