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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that global medical technology company Medtronic, Inc.’s $42.9 billion acquisition of Covidien plc would likely be anticompetitive.

Under the order, first announced in November 2014, the companies agreed to sell Covidien’s drug-coated balloon catheter business to a Colorado-based medical device company, The Spectranetics Corporation. According to the complaint, Medtronic and Covidien were developing products to compete with C.R. Bard, Inc., the only U.S. supplier of drug-coated balloon catheters used to treat peripheral artery disease. Medtronic and Covidien are the only companies with products in clinical trials as part of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process, which makes it unlikely that other competitors could enter the market in time to counteract the effects of the merger, the FTC alleged.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 141 0187; the staff contact is Christine L. Tasso, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2232)

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, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., 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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Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs