Andersen axed by Merck

Merck, one of the largest and most respected pharmaceutical companies in the US, announced it had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to take over the company audit.

According to Merck’s annual report for 2000, Andersen earned $6.3m, including $4.2m in audit fees.

Andersen had been the company’s auditor for 30 years.

In a statement, Merck said: ‘Arthur Andersen has provided excellent auditing services to Merck since 1971 and Merck has valued its relationship with the firm.’

The news will be particularly devastating as Merck is held in high regard for its corporate governance standards.

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