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FTC Requires Divestiture in Blockbuster Medical Device Deal

  • The Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with medical device companies Stryker Corp. (“Stryker”) and Wright Medical Group N.V. (“Wright”) to resolve allegations that Stryker’s proposed $4 billion acquisition of Wright will harm competition in the total ankle replacement and finger joint implant markets in violation of the FTC Act and the Clayton Act.
  • The FTC’s complaint alleged that, because the two companies are suppliers of close substitutes in both markets, the elimination of their direct head-to-head competition would allow the combined entity to control 75% of the U.S. market for total ankle replacements and more than 50% of the U.S. market for finger joint implants, giving it significant market power that would result in higher consumer prices and reduced research and development.
  • Under the proposed consent order, Stryker and Wright must divest all assets associated with Stryker’s total ankle replacement products and finger joint implants to Colfax Corporation. The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period, after which the FTC will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final.