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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order settling charges that Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s acquisition of Life Technologies Corporation was likely to lessen competition.

The FTC’s January 2014 complaint alleges that the transaction, would have eliminated close competition between Thermo Fisher and Life Technologies and substantially increased concentration in the markets for short/small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) reagents, cell culture media, and cell culture sera, enabling the combined firm to raise prices and reduce quality for consumers.

The final order settling the Commission’s charges requires Thermo Fisher to divest its gene modulation business, Dharmacon, which includes the siRNA reagents business, as well as its cell culture media and sera business, HyClone, to GE Healthcare.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC File No.121-0134; the staff contact is James R. Weiss, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-3506)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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Mitchell J. Katz,
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