WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Feb. 23 the approval of a final order settling charges that Abbott Laboratories’ $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical Inc. would be anti-competitive. The approval comes following a public comment period.


The FTC had alleged the acquisition would have harmed U.S. competition for vascular closure devices. These devices help close holes in arteries from catheter insertion. The devices are also used for “steerable” sheaths, which help guide catheters for treating heart arrhythmias.


As per the finalized consent agreement, St. Jude must divest all rights and assets related to its vascular closure device business to Terumo Corporation, a medical device company based in Tokyo. Abbott, meanwhile, will need to divest to Terumo its steerable sheath business. The companies must help Terumo establish manufacturing capabilities for these products. With this agreement in place, Abbott can move forward with its acquisition of St. Jude.


The FTC voted 2-0 to approve the final order. Jordan Andrew from the Bureau of Competition is the staff contact for the case.

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