FYI: Roche Holding Ltd. (Syntex) Petitions FTC To Reopen and Modify 1994 Consent Order

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Roche Holding Ltd. has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to reopen and modify a 1994 consent order to delete a provision that requires prior Commission approval of an acquisition of an interest greater than one percent in any company involved in the market for drug abuse testing products. The order stems from Roche's acquisition of Syntex, and its subsidiary, Syva, a competitor with Roche in the market for drugs of abuse testing products.

In its petition, Roche requests deletion of the prior approval clause pursuant to a policy announced by the Commission in June 1995, under which the Commission will no longer routinely require parties to a challenged merger to obtain prior approval for future transactions. In addition, the Commission will operate on the presumption that the public interest requires modifying prior-approval provisions in outstanding merger orders to follow the new policy.

The petition will be placed on the public record and will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until Nov. 2. Comments should be addressed to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

Copies of the petition and other documents relating to this case are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov

(FTC Docket No. C-3542)

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