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FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition in the U.S. Markets for Two Types of Medical Testing Devices

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order designed to remedy the anticompetitive effects resulting from Abbott’s $8.3 billion acquisition of Alere.

Under the consent order, the parties will divest two point-of-care medical device product lines: point-of-care blood gas testing systems (which measure blood pH, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and electrolyte levels) and point-of-care cardiac marker testing systems (which measure specific proteins in the blood to assess whether a patient is having a heart attack or experiencing congestive heart failure). As announced in a September 2017 complaint, the FTC alleged that the proposed acquisition would likely harm competition in the United States for these two types of devices.

The consent order requires divestiture of Alere’s blood gas testing system to Siemens Aktiengelsellschaft and Alere’s cardiac marker testing system to Quidel Corporation.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 2-0. (FTC File No. 161 0084; the staff contact is Aylin M. Skroejer, Bureau of Competition, 202-326- 2459.)

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