US regulator clears Danaher's acquisition of GE's biopharma unit

The US Federal Trade Commission accepted a proposed consent order in connection with Danaher's pending $21.4-billion acquisition of GE Life Sciences' biopharma business, the companies announced. The deal is expected to close on March 31.

The FTC concluded that the deal would violate US antitrust laws by reducing competition "in highly concentrated product markets for 10 products that companies use to manufacture biopharmaceutical drugs." The regulator indicated that as such, Danaher will "divest all rights and assets to research, develop, manufacture, market, and sell these products" to Sartorius.

In October, Danaher announced that it agreed to sell its label-free biomolecular characterisation, chromatography hardware and resins, as well as its microcarriers and particle validation standards businesses to Sartorius for around $750 million.

The FTC acceptance satisfies all required antitrust clearances needed for the acquisition, which has also been okayed by the European Commission and antitrust authorities in Brazil, China, Israel, Japan, Korea and Russia.

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