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The Federal Trade Commission has voted unanimously to dismiss its administrative complaint challenging Steris Corporation’s proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of Synergy Health plc. The FTC had filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking an injunction to prevent the acquisition from going forward pending the outcome of administrative litigation, but the court denied the motion, and the Commission did not appeal that decision.

“Although we still have competitive concerns about this acquisition, we have concluded that further adjudication would not serve the public interest,” the Commission wrote in a statement. The Commission cited the fact that “the district court’s denial of preliminary relief would render it difficult for us to craft meaningful relief were we to find the merger unlawful at the conclusion of the administrative proceeding.”

Both the federal court complaint and the administrative complaint alleged that the challenged acquisition would violate the antitrust laws by eliminating the likely future competition between Steris’s gamma sterilization facilities and Synergy’s planned x-ray sterilization facilities in certain regional markets in the United States, thus depriving customers of an alternative sterilization service and additional competition.

The Commission vote to approve the Commission statement and dismiss the administrative complaint was 4-0. (FTC File No. 151 0032; the staff contact is Amy Posner, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2614)

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, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. 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.

Contact Information


Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs