FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition in U.S. Markets for Three Orthopedic Medical Products

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Zimmer Holdings, Inc.’s $13.35 billion acquisition of Biomet, Inc. is anticompetitive.

Under the order, first announced in June 2015, the merged company agreed to divest Zimmer’s U.S. ZUK unicondylar knee implant rights and assets to London-based Smith & Nephew, and Biomet’s U.S. Discovery total elbow implant and Cobalt bone cement rights and assets to Vista, California-based DJO Global, Inc.

The complaint alleged that the merger as originally proposed would have eliminated competition between the companies in markets for unicondylar knee implants, total elbow implants, and bone cement – increasing the likelihood that Zimmer would unilaterally exercise market power in these markets, and resulting in lower levels of quality and service and higher prices.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 141 0144; the staff contact is Christine 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 antitrust@ftc.gov, 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.

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