FDAnews Device Daily Bulletin


April 13, 2006

Boston Scientific has won antitrust clearance from the European Commission (EC) regarding its proposed merger with Guidant.

Abbott's proposed acquisition of Guidant's vascular intervention and endovascular businesses was also approved by the EC. Boston Scientific agreed to sell a piece of Guidant's business to a third company, Abbott, to satisfy antitrust measures.

But before it can go ahead with the Guidant acquisition, the company must also receive antitrust approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the last hurdle for the $27 billion deal.

Still, the EC has set a condition that Abbott will sell its shares of Boston Scientific within 30 months of the deal's closure. Boston Scientific recently announced that it had entered into an agreement containing consent orders that resolved all outstanding antitrust issues with the FTC staff. The FTC commissioners are currently reviewing the agreement.

Boston Scientific still expects to close the deal by the middle of this month, after the FTC signs off on the acquisition, the company said in a statement. Shareholders from both companies voted to approve the union at separate special meetings held March 31.

Since then, according to the terms of the agreement, Boston Scientific is paying Guidant shareholders $4.5 million a day for each day that the deal fails to close.