WASHINGTON – Healthcare company Abbott Laboratories has won U.S. antitrust approval for its proposed $25 billion acquisition of medical device maker St. Jude Medical, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.
Abbott Labs agreed to divest itself of two medical devices used in cardiovascular procedures to resolve FTC concerns the acquisition would stifle competition, the commission said in a statement.
“We continue to work to obtain final regulatory approvals and anticipate closing before the end of the year or shortly thereafter,” Abbott spokeswoman Elissa Maurer said in an e-mail.
The company will sell Little Canada-based St. Jude’s vascular closure device and Abbott’s steerable sheath to Japan-based Terumo Corp.
In October, Abbott said the companies would sell some of their medical device businesses to Terumo for about $1.12 billion as a step toward completing the deal.
Vascular closure devices are used to seal small holes made in an artery to prevent bleeding following a coronary angiogram, a special X-ray to see if coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed.
Steerable sheaths are used to help place catheters into the heart.
European antitrust enforcers agreed to the deal in November provided the companies divest the two devices. Representatives for St. Jude were not available for comment.
With hospitals looking to cut the number of their suppliers, Abbott has said the deal will help it compete against larger rivals Medtronic PLC and Boston Scientific Corp., which like St. Jude have major Minnesota operations.
St. Jude has been under pressure after short-seller Muddy Waters and research firm MedSec Holdings said in August that its heart devices were riddled with defects that make them vulnerable to cyberhacks.
St. Jude has aggressively denied the allegations and sued both of those firms.