Announced Actions for July 29, 1997

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The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions.

Applications for approval of transactions: The FTC has received an application for approval of a transaction from the following. The FTC is seeking public comments on the application for 30 days, until Aug. 28.

  • Novartis AG, of Basel, Switzerland has applied for FTC approval of the agreement between Novartis subsidiary, Genetic Therapy, Inc., of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, to license Genetic Therapy's "B-domain deleted Factor VIII" gene therapy products, which are being developed for the treatment of hemophilia. Licensing of these assets is required under an April 1997 consent order settling charges that the merger of Ciba Geigy Limited and Sandoz Ltd., to create Novartis, would substantially reduce competition in the development and commercialization of certain gene therapy products. The licensing requirement is designed to restore competition. (See Dec. 17, 1996 news release for more details regarding this case; Docket No. C-3725.) Staff contact is Daniel Ducore, 202-326-2526.

Commission action regarding applications for approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on an application for approval of a transaction from the following:

  • The FTC approved the application of Tenet Healthcare Corporation, of Santa Barbara, California, to divest French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, to Vista Hospital Systems, Inc., which is based in Santa Barbara and is a subordinate of Permian Health Care Inc., of Santa Monica. The divestiture, which also includes certain other, related assets, is required by a consent order settling FTC charges that Tenet's acquisition of OrNda Healthcorp would have combined the three largest of the five hospitals in San Luis Obispo County, and thereby substantially reduced competition for inpatient acute care hospital services in the county. The divestiture requirement is intended to restore competition. (See Jan 29, 1997 news release for more details regarding this case; Docket No. C-3743; Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 5-0.) Staff contact is Roberta Baruch, 202-326-2861.

Comments on the Ciba-Geigy application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, at the same address; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC 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:

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