GlaxoSmithKline's shareholders have cheered CEO Emma Walmsley for pulling out of the auction for Pfizer's consumer health business - a deal that could have cost $20 billion.
She has shown she can stick to the rigid capital allocation framework she set out for the British drugmaker last year. After demonstrating such restraint, maybe she's earned the right to loosen the straitjacket a little.
Rival Reckitt Benckiser Group withdrew from the auction on Wednesday, to similar applause. After that, Walmsley was left in a tricky position. Any deal would had to have been at a knockdown price, which Pfizer may not have accepted. Glaxo shareholders wouldn't have tolerated anything but a bargain when there was no under-bidder.