Roche Holding Ltd.

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The Federal Trade Commission has granted Roche Holding Ltd. approval to divest Syva Company, a Syntex subsidiary which manufactures drugs of abuse testing (DAT) products, to Behring Diagnostics, Inc.

Roche Holding Ltd. is a Swiss Corporation with a subsidiary, Hoffmann La-Roche, located in Nutley, New Jersey. Syntex is a Panamanian corporation whose subsidiary, Syva, is headquartered in San Jose, California. Behring is based in Westwood, Massachusetts and is a subsidiary of Hoechst A.G. of Germany.

Divestiture of Syva, and prior Commission approval, are required under a December 1994 consent order settling FTC antitrust concerns over the Roche acquisition of Syntex and Syva, its subsidiary. The FTC alleged that the acquisition could substantially lessen competition in the DAT market or tend to create a monopoly by eliminating competition between Roche and Syntex. The order permitted Roche to acquire Syntex, but requires Roche to divest Syva to a Commission approved buyer. The purpose of the divestiture is to remedy the lessening of competition in the U.S. DAT market resulting from the Roche acquisition, according to the order.

The Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 4-0, with Chairman Robert Pitofsky not participating.

Copies of application and the Commission's letter approving the divestiture, as well as other documents associated with this case, are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at:


(FTC Docket No. C-3542)

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