Pfizer Faces Backlash to AstraZeneca Bid

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic fret about the proposed deal's economic impact.

Pfizer Inc.’s record of job cuts after acquisitions is now drawing heat from both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. and state politicians yesterday joined their U.K. counterparts in questioning the economic impact of the drugmaker’s push to buy AstraZeneca Plc.

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Delaware Governor Jack Markell said they fear the deal will lead to job losses in their states in a letter to Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read. The letter was released hours after Senator Carl Levin said he is writing legislation to block U.S. companies from shifting their legal addresses overseas to avoid U.S. taxes, a move Pfizer has proposed as part of the transaction.

Governors’ Questions

AstraZeneca employs 5,700 people in Maryland and Delaware, Markell, the Delaware governor, said in a telephone interview. The company’s North America headquarters is located in Wilmington, Delaware, there is a research center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and a manufacturing facility in Newark, Delaware.

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