Medtronic must sell Intersect ENT subsidiary to satisfy FTC concerns

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.

“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 Fiag…

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Report: FTC drops Illumina-Grail court case

A U.S. judge reportedly ruled in favor of an FTC petition to drop its case against the proposed merger between Illumina (NSDQ:ILMN) and Grail.

The Financial Times reported that the ruling allows Brussels to investigate the merger while the deal remains blocked. In April the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition announced today that it will review Illumina’s proposed $8 billion acquisition of Grail.

Illumina and Grail agreed this spring to postpone the planned purchase until after Sept. 20 while the FTC challenged the deal. The company in March stated that it disagreed with and will oppose the FTC’s challenge to the acquisition of Grail, a cancer detection startup that spun out from the company four years ago.

According to the FT report, Illumina CEO Francis deSouza claims that the U.S. regulators are employing “time-wasting” maneuvers and that the companies want the FTC to operate with a sense of urgency to get the case to…

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Report: Illumina will postpone $8B Grail deal

Illumina (NSDQ:ILMN) is reportedly set to delay the closing of its proposed $8 billion acquisition of Grail amid a challenge by the FTC.

According to a report by Law360, the company has agreed to postpone the planned purchase until as late as September of this year while the FTC attempts to quash the deal.

News of Illumina’s agreement to delay the purchase of the cancer detection startup that spun out from the company four years ago follows an announcement by the company just days ago that it disagreed with and will oppose the FTC’s challenge to its acquisition of Grail. San Diego-based Illumina called the FTC’s challenge to the proposed transaction “a marked departure from longstanding antitrust precedent.” The company said it planned to pursue all legal options to complete the acquisition.

Illumina announced in September that it entered into an agreement to acquire the cancer detection startup that spun out from the company four years ago for cash and…

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Illumina vows to pursue Grail purchase despite FTC challenge

Illumina (NSDQ:ILMN) announced today that it disagrees with and will oppose the FTC’s challenge to its acquisition of Grail.

San Diego-based Illumina announced in September that it entered into an agreement to acquire the cancer detection startup that spun out from the company four years ago for cash and stock consideration of $8 billion.

founded in 2016, Grail spun out as a standalone company powered by Illumina’s NGS technology for developing data science and machine learning for enabling multiple cancers in early detection tests. It raised approximately $2 billion to support its platform and develop the Galleri multi-cancer screening test, which is set to commercially launch this year.

Illumina said in a news release that it will pursue its right to proceed with the transaction so it can adopt the multi-cancer early detection blood test from the company it founded and a company with which it does not compete.

Through the acquisition, Illu…

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FTC to refund Neurometrix consumers $3.9M in false ad case

NeuroMetrix’s Quell 2.0 [Image courtesy of NeuroMetrix]

The Federal Trade Commission announced that it is refunding NeuroMetrix (NSDQ:NURO) consumers nearly $3.9 million after false advertising.

NeuroMetrix marketed its Quell transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device as a clinically proven and FDA-cleared treatment for widespread chronic pain relief when placed below the knee, according to the FTC, which said that the company lacks scientific evidence to support the pain relief and clinical proof claims.

Waltham, Mass.-based NeuroMetrix and its CEO Shai Gozani agreed to pay $4 million to the FTC under an order settling the charges, supplying the money for refunds and agreeing to stop making the allegedly deceptive claims.

NeuroMetrix has been marketing the device since 2015 and last year turned to artificial intelligence to better tailor Quell treatments.

With the settlement f…

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Stryker may sell certain assets to enable Wright Medical purchase

Stryker (NYSE:SYK) has proposed a plan to divest certain assets to Colfax (NYSE:CFX)/DJO Global in an effort to complete its acquisition of Wright Medical (NSDQ:WMGI).

Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker’s proposed divestitures of its STAR total ankle replacement product, plus related assets, and its finger joint replacement products, is in connection with the Federal Trade Commission’s review of the ongoing effort to purchase Wright Medical, according to an SEC filing.

Stryker’s proposal needs regulatory approvals and the execution of definitive documents, so there is no guarantee that it will go through, the filing said.

The acquisition has been in the works for several months, as Stryker announced the $4.7 billion purchase in November 2019. Since then, the FTC increased its scrutiny of the proposed merger in January and a Wright Medical shareholder filed a proposed class-action lawsuit to block it later that month, in addition to probing …

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Federal Trade Commission sues online retailer over its PPE shipment speed claims

The Federal Trade Commission has sued online retailer SuperGoodDeals.com — claiming that it falsely promised consumers next-day shipping of facemasks and other personal protective equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SuperGoodDeals’ website starting in March said PPE was “in stock,” and touted “Pay Today, Ships Tomorrow” — but it often took weeks for PPE merchandise to ship, according to the FTC’s federal suit filed against the company and owner Kevin J. Lipsitz in Eastern District of New York.

“Unscrupulous merchants are taking advantage of consumers in their hour of need by not delivering goods — including masks and other personal protective equipment — as promised, and failing to provide required refunds,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

“The FTC will not tolerate this, and we are working closely with criminal authorities to put a stop to it,” Smith said in a July 8 news release.

The U.S. Att…

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U.K. probing Stryker-Wright Medical merger

The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority has begun an investigation into the proposed $4.7 billion merger of Stryker (NYSE:SYK) and Wright Medical (NSDQ:WMGI).

Announced in November 2019, the merger would have Stryker pay $30.75 per share to acquire all of the issues and outstanding ordinary shares of Wright Medical. With outstanding convertible notes, total enterprise value is set at $5.4 billion. At the time of the announcement, the companies expected the acquisition to close in the second half of 2020.

The U.K. antitrust body’s investigation follows one opened in December 2019 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The Competition and Markets Authority said it will decide by July 15, 2020, whether it will launch a second phase of its investigation.

Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker is the world’s largest orthopedic device company, with sales of $14.89 billion in 2019. Wright Medical, based in Amsterdam, posted net sales of $920.9 million for…

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