The Federal Trade Commission has issued a proposed order to require Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) to sell a subsidiary of Intersect ENT within 10 days of completing its $1.1 billion acquisition of Intersect ENT.
The commission announced May 10 that it voted 4-0 to issue its complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment.
Under the consent order, Hemostasis (White Bear Lake, Minnesota) would acquire Intersect ENT’s Fiagon business from Medtronic. Fiagon makes balloon sinus dilation products and ear, nose and throat navigation systems.
Intersect ENT said in March that it planned to sell Fiagon to Hemostasis as part of the FTC review process and agreed on terms.
“Today’s action by the FTC is part of our efforts to combat the problem of rising healthcare costs,” Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a news release.
“These are already concentrated markets for critical medical instruments,” she said. “Medtronic is the top provider of ear, nose, and throat navigation systems. We are requiring Medtronic to divest Fiagon because we are concerned that the deal would otherwise lead to higher prices and reduced innovation in this important medical care market.”
The FTC’s order is but the latest example of more aggressive antitrust law enforcement under the Biden administration.
The proposed order appears to have provided a path for Medtronic and Intersect ENT to clear FTC concerns over the deal. Intersect ENT said in an SEC filing on May 9 that the FTC had granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 with respect to the merger. “With early termination granted under the HSR Act, the transaction has now received all applicable antitrust regulatory approvals.”
The consent order also requires Medtronic over the next 10 years to obtain prior FTC approval before buying further ENT navigation systems and balloon sinus dilation assets.