Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

FTC INTERVENES IN GENTINGE’S $865 MILLION ACQUISITION OF RIVAL DATASCOPE

On January 29, 2009, Getinge AB (“Getinge”) settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in order for its $865 million acquisition of rival Datascope Corporation (“Datascope”) to proceed. The FTC believed that the proposed acquisition violated federal antitrust laws. Datascope is required to divest its endoscopic vessel harvesting (“EVH”) product line to an FTC approved buyer within 10 days of the acquisition date.
EVH devices are used in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery to remove a vein from the patient’s leg or arm for use as a conduit to bypass one or more blocked coronary arteries.

According to the FTC’s complaint, due to the high concentration of U.S. market for EVH devices, the combined firm would control 90% of it. The duopoly would increase prices and decrease innovation for EVH devices. In spite of the high concentration of the market, entry into the market is difficult and a new entry into the market within the next two to three years is unlikely.

As per the FTC consent order, Datascope has agreed to sell its EVH assets to Sorin Group USA, Inc. (“Sorin Group”), a diversified medical company that already markets and sells a line of cardiovascular products, including artificial cardiac valves and coronary stents. The consent order requires the divestiture to take place within 10 days of the acquisition date. The consent order also requires Getinge to allow Datascope to provide certain transitional services to Sorin Group.

The Commission vote to accept the complaint and consent order and place copies on the public record was 4-0.

Robert Doyle
(202) 589-1834
rdoyle@dbmlawgroup.com