The Federal Trade Commission today approved Danaher Corp.'s acquisition of MDS Analytical Technologies Inc., subject to divestitures.
Danaher, which is headquartered in Washington, makes and markets a range of professional, medical, industrial, commercial, and consumer products.
In September, the company announced a $650 million deal to acquire Ontario-based MDS's analytical-technologies business and a 50% stake in a joint venture.
But the FTC was concerned that the deal would harm competition in the North American market for laser microdissection devices. These devices are used to separate small groups of cells — or even a single cell — from larger tissue samples for specialized tests, such as DNA analysis, RNA analysis, or protein profiling.
Currently, four companies are competitors in this market. The merger would combine Danaher’s Leica brand of laser microdissection devices with MDS’s Arcturus brand, leaving only three.
The parties agreed to an FTC order requiring them to sell assets related to MDS’s Arcturus brand to Life Technologies Corp. The FTC commissioners voted 4 - 0 to approve the order.
“The commission’s order will protect competition in the specialized and highly concentrated market for laser microdissection devices, leading to lower costs and increased innovation,” said FTC Bureau of Competition director Richard Feinstein in a statement.
Danaher was represented by Mark Kovner of Kirkland & Ellis, while MDS turned to Matthew Hendrickson of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. FTC lawyers also included Lynda Lao, Michael Moiseyev and Peter Levitas