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Getinge AB and Datascope Corp.; Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed Consent Agreement.

SUMMARY:

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before March 2, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments. Comments should refer to “Getinge Datascope, File No. 091 0000,” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should Start Printed Page 6156include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room 135-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Comments containing confidential material must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). 16 CFR 4.9(c) (2005).[1] The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments that do not contain any nonpublic information may instead be filed in electronic form by following the instructions on the web-based form at (http://secure.commentworks.com/​ftc-GetingeDatascope). To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on that web-based form.

The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, will be considered by the Commission, and will be available to the public on the FTC website, to the extent practicable, at www.ftc.gov. As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC website. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.shtm).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David L. Inglefield, Bureau of Competition, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, (202) 326-2637.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and § 2.34 of the Commission Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for January 29, 2009), on the World Wide Web, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​2009/​01/​index.htm). A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.

Public comments are invited, and may be filed with the Commission in either paper or electronic form. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before the date specified in the DATES section.

Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

I. Introduction

The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an Agreement Containing Consent Order (“Consent Agreement”) from Getinge AB (“Getinge”) and Datascope Corp. (“Datascope”). The purpose of the proposed Consent Agreement is to remedy the anticompetitive effects that would otherwise result from Getinge’s acquisition of Datascope. Under the terms of the proposed Consent Agreement, Datascope is required to divestto a third party its endoscopic vessel harvesting (“EVH”) product line.

The proposed Consent Agreement has been placed on the public record for thirty days to solicit comments from interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty days, the Commission will again review the proposed Consent Agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the proposed Consent Agreement or make it final.

Pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger dated September 15, 2008, Getinge proposes to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Datascope common stock in a transaction valued at approximately $865 million. The Commission’s complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition, if consummated, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 18, and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. § 45, by lessening competition in the U.S. market for EVH devices. The proposed Consent Agreement would remedy the alleged violations by replacing the competition that would be lost in this market as a result of the acquisition.

II. The Parties

Getinge is a leading global provider of equipment and systems in the healthcare and life sciences fields. Getinge is divided into three business segments: Medical Systems, Extended Care, and Infection Control. The Medical Systems segment manufactures and sells, among other things, surgical tables and lights. In January 2008, Getinge acquired the Cardiac and Vascular divisions of Boston Scientific Corporation, including Guidant’s EVH business, which Boston Scientific had purchased in 2006. The Boston Scientific divisions have been integrated into the Medical Systems segment of Getinge, and the products are now sold under the Maquet brand. In 2007, Getinge generated global sales of $2.2 billion.

Datascope is the world’s leading supplier of intra-aortic balloon pump counter pulsation devices, and is a diversified medical device company that develops, manufactures and sells proprietary products for clinical health care markets in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular and vascular surgery, and critical care. Datascope acquired the EVH devices at issue in this case from Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company, in January 2006. Datascope’s global sales for fiscal year 2008 were $230.9 million, and its U.S. sales were $98.8 million. Datascopic’s EVH device is part of its Cardiac Assist business unit, which accounted for $189.3 million of Datascope’s worldwide sales.

III. Endoscopic Vessel Harvesting Devices

The EVH device market is the relevant product market in which to analyze the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition. EVH devices are used in coronary artery bypass graft (“CABG”) surgery, most often to remove the saphenous vein from the patient’s leg, or sometimes the radial artery from the arm, for use as a conduit to bypass one or more blocked coronary arteries. Because it is a minimally-invasive procedure, EVH provides several benefits over the other two vessel harvesting methods (open and bridging) both of which are more invasive, cause more pain and scarring, and carry a greater risk of infection. As a result, Start Printed Page 6157neither of the other methods is considered a viable economic alternative for EVH devices. EVH devices, therefore, constitute a separate product market.

The United States is the relevant geographic market in which to analyze the effects of the proposed acquisition on the EVH device market. EVH devices are subject to regulation and cannot be marketed or sold in the United States without prior approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Receiving FDA approval to market an EVH device in the United States can be a lengthy process. EVH devices sold outside of the United States but not approved by the FDA for sale in the United States therefore do not provide viable competitive alternatives for U.S. consumers.

The U.S. market for EVH devices is highly concentrated, and together, the combined firm would account for approximately 90 percent of this market. Firms seeking to enter the market for EVH devices face regulatory hurdles and significant intellectual property barriers, both of which make entry into the market for EVH devices in the next two to three years highly unlikely. In addition, while the use of EVH devices in CABG surgery is increasing, the number of CABG procedures and related vessel harvesting procedures performed in the United States has been declining as minimally-invasive stenting procedures have increased. As a result, it is unlikely that firms would find it profitable to enter the EVH device market in response to a modest increase in the price of the devices.

The proposed acquisition would result in a duopoly in the market for EVH devices and is likely to lead to increased prices and decreased innovation for those devices.

IV. The Consent Agreement

The proposed Consent Agreement effectively remedies the proposed acquisition’s anticompetitive effects in the U.S. market for EVH devices by requiring Datascope to divest its EVH product line to a Commission-approved buyer at no minimum price. Datascope has reached an agreement to divest the EVH business to Sorin Group USA, Inc. Sorin, a diversified medical device company, has a line of cardiovascular products, including artificial cardiac valves and coronary stents. Pursuant to the Consent Agreement, Datascope is required to accomplish the divestiture of its EVH product line no later than ten days after the acquisition is consummated.

The divestiture will allow Sorin to enter and compete in the EVH market. The assets to be divested include all third party contracts to supply the components of the EVH product line. In addition, the Consent Agreement requires Getinge to grant the Commission-approved buyer a covenant not to sue for infringement of any EVH-related patents that Getinge or Datascope held at the time of the acquisition. The Consent Agreement also permits Datascope to provide certain transitional services to the Commission-approved buyer of the EVH product line assets. These services may be necessary to ensure a smooth transition of the product line to the acquirer and continued and uninterrupted service to customers during the transition. The purchaser will have a secure supply of the EVH product line because third parties supply the components of the EVH product line. Further, Sorin currently is capable of assembling the components and marketing the finished products.

V. Appointment of an Interim Monitor and a Divestiture Trustee

The proposed Consent Agreement includes a provision that allows the Commission to appoint an interim monitor to oversee Datascope’s compliance with all of its obligations and performance of its responsibilities pursuant to the Commission’s Decision and Order. If appointed, the interim monitor would be required to file periodic reports with the Commission to ensure that the Commission remains informed about the status of the divestitures, the efforts being made to accomplish the divestiture, and the provision of services and assistance during the transition period.

Finally, the proposed Consent Agreement contains provisions that allow the Commission to appoint a divestiture trustee if any or all of the above remedies are not accomplished within the time frames required by the Consent Agreement. The divestiture trustee may be appointed to accomplish any and all of the remedies required by the proposed Consent Agreement that have not yet been fulfilled upon expiration of the time period allotted for each.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed Consent Agreement, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the proposed Decision and Order or to modify its terms in any way. By direction of the Commission.

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Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1. The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission’s General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See Commission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. E9-2376 Filed 2-4-09: 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-S