Ed Miliband: 'Serious concerns' over proposed Pfizer deal

Following a brief 30 minute with Pfizer chief executive Ian Read after today's hearing Mr Miliband said: "There are serious concerns about this proposed takeover. There are too many unanswered questions about British science and British industry".

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Miliband: 'Serious concerns over this proposed takeover'

Following a brief 30 minute with Pfizer chief executive Ian Read after today's hearing Mr Miliband said: "There are serious concerns about this proposed takeover. There are too many unanswered questions about British science and British industry.

Video: MPs sceptical over Pfizer chief executive's assurances

Miliband has said that the "takeover will affect our country for decades to come." Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

"This takeover will affect our country for decades to come. That is why David Cameron should act now and have a proper test about whether it is in our nation's interests. If it is not, he should block the deal."

Read more: AstraZeneca boss: Bid could create 'enormous disruption'

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Pfizer deal 'will make almost no difference to the NHS'

Pfizer's proposed takeover of AstraZeneca will make "almost no difference to the NHS", an expert on cancer treatment has told ITV News.

Dr Karol Sikora of the University of Buckingham said the majority of drug development was now undertaken by academics and smaller biotechnology companies, rather than big pharmaceutical firms.

He also argued that the economies of scale enabled by a merger between the two firms could mean more research funding that would ultimately benefit patients.

Read: AstraZeneca boss: Bid could create 'enormous disruption'

Vince Cable: 'Tricky' to block Pfizer bid for AstraZeneca

Business Secretary Vince Cable has admitted European law means it would be "quite tricky" for the Government to block Pfizer's bid for AstraZeneca.

There have been suggestions ministers could scupper the takeover on the grounds that it is not in the UK's public interest to allow Pfizer to take control of the British-Swedish firm.

Vince Cable answering questions from MPs about the Pfizer bid for AstraZeneca. Credit: PA Wire

He told MPs on the Business Select Committee: "The framework which we have under the act, as you know, confines the public interest test quite narrowly and, of course, all of that takes place within the framework of European merger law."

Read: Pfizer boss admits merger would mean some job cuts

Labour: Pfizer appearance 'confirms worst fears'

Today's appearance from Pfizer bosses before MPs "confirms many of the worst fears" about the proposed takeover of AstraZeneca, Labour have said.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna told the BBC: "What we heard at the hearing today reinforces the grave concerns we have about this deal and confirms many of the worst fears of people in the business and science community in the UK.

Ian Read appearing before MPs earlier. Credit: PA Wire

"What do we know? They confirm that they will be cutting jobs. They confirm that there will be a cut in the spending of the combined merged entity. They've confirmed that the business, AstraZeneca will be split up, and they haven't ruled out selling off parts of it in the future.

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Boss 'under pressure from some' to do Pfizer deal

AstraZeneca's boss Pascal Soriot is appearing at a business select committee on Pfizer's proposed takeover of the British pharmaceutical company. ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills has tweeted:

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AstraZeneca boss says impossible to say he wouldn't accept any offer from Pfizer. He's under pressure from some shareholders to do a deal.

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Soriot says when it comes to developing new drugs "big is not necessarily beautiful" - much creativity from small bio-tech companies

Read: Pfizer has 'gone hostile' with appeal to AstraZeneca shareholders

Pfizer's 'opportunistic attempt' to buy UK firm cheaply

British drugs company AstraZeneca said Pfizer was making an "opportunistic attempt" to buy the company for a price that did not reflect the value of its "exciting pipeline" of new drugs.

AstraZeneca's boss is appearing at an MPs select committee. Credit: PA

The British pharmaceutical company said the announcement from Pfizer, which appealed to AstraZeneca shareholders to force takeover talks, contained no new proposal or information.

Pfizer unprepared to extend commitments to UK

Pfizer's boss Ian Read is appearing at a business select committee on the US company's proposed takeover of AstraZeneca. ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills has tweeted:

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Pfizer commitments to Britain last for 5 years. Ian Read says he would not be prepared to extend them, already "unprecedented".

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Pfizer boss says Takeover Panel has power to take it to High Court if breaks pledges to UK. Although he can't think of precedent.

Read: Pfizer has 'gone hostile' with appeal to AstraZeneca shareholders

Pfizer boss admits merger would mean some job cuts

Pfizer's boss Ian Read is appearing at a business select committee on the US company's proposed takeover of AstraZeneca. ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills has tweeted:

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Ian Read says new company would become more "efficient". Some jobs would be cut but can't say how many or where.

Read: Pfizer has 'gone hostile' with appeal to AstraZeneca shareholders

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