Health care giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) submitted concessions to the European Commission reviewing the company’s $21.3 billion buyout of Synthes Inc. in hopes of easing regulator concerns.
The Eurozone regulators extended the deadline for a decision on the proposed merger until April 26, to grant additional time to review the concessions, the details of which were not made public.
The commission, which regulates competition and antitrust efforts for the European Union, had previously expressed concern that the merger would decrease competition in the medical device industry.
Some analysts speculated that J&J may ditch some of its trauma assets to win over the regulators, the New York Times reported. The health care giant declined to offer details on the concessions.
Johnson & Johnson confirmed rumors that it was in talks with Swiss device maker Synthes in April 2011 in a deal that, if consummated, will be the biggest in J&J history.
The offer sparked an in-depth probe by the European Union’s antitrust body over concerns that the deal would "remove a competitor from some markets which are already concentrated. The commission needs to make sure that effective competition is preserved, in order to maintain innovation and prevent harm to patients," EU commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in November 2011.
The initial investigation showed that the deal may spur a price hike for orthopedic medical devices, Bloomberg reported.