EC approves acquisitions worth $13.9 billion

The European Commission has approved the $4.4 billion acquisition of Invista by Koch and the proposed $9.5 billion acquisition by General Electric of Amersham, the diagnostic pharmaceuticals and biosciences company.

The European Commission has approved the acquisition of Invista by Koch and the proposed acquisition by General Electric of Amersham, the UK diagnostic pharmaceuticals and biosciences company.

According to a Commission statement, the $4.4 billion acquisition of Invista, the former interiors and textiles division of DuPont, by Koch ‘does not raise any competition concerns even in the market for man-made fibres for industrial applications where Invista and Koch are both active.’

In a statement regarding GE’s acquisition of Amersham, ‘the absence of overlaps between the companies’ activities led the Commission to focus its investigation on whether GE would be able to foreclose its competitors, namely through the bundling of its products with those of Amersham.’

The Commission was concerned that GE could have the incentive to offer bundles of products, by proposing a better price than for the sum of the individual products or by designing its products to work better with Amersham’s products.

The Commission’s market investigation revealed that such a scenario was unlikely because neither GE nor Amersham hold dominant positions in their respective products in Europe.

Furthermore, both customers and a number of competitors agreed that the markets concerned enjoy strong competition with viable equipment manufacturers such as Philips, Siemens and Toshiba, and strong pharmaceuticals makers such as Schering, Bristol Myers Squibb, Tyco/Mallinckrodt and Bracco.

The Commission was satisfied that such a strategy was unlikely to succeed and that European hospitals will continue enjoying competition from a variety of suppliers.