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Pfizer admits defeat on AstraZeneca bid

US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer has called off its multi-billion pound bid to take over British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. The decision came after AstraZeneca's board declined an offer worth almost £70bn.

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Government 'not ruling out intervention' in Pfizer bid

Business Secretary Vince Cable has opened the door to a possible Government intervention if US firm Pfizer bids to take over British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Although Chancellor George Osborne said he would back "any arrangement" that secured British jobs, his Liberal Democrat colleague said he was "not ruling out intervention".

The Government has the option of putting the bid to a public interest test if it considers that the takeover may harm the British economy.

"One of our options as the Government would be to consider using our public interest test powers," Dr Cable said.

"This would be a serious step and not one that should be taken lightly and I'm open-minded about it while stressing that we are operating in serious European legal constraints."

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