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Becton Dickinson, Bard deal wins conditional approval from US FTC

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved Becton Dickinson and Co. 's $24 billion acquisition of C. R. Bard Inc. on the condition that the companies divest two product lines.

As part of the FTC clearance, Becton Dickinson's soft tissue core needle biopsy device business and Bard's tunneled home drainage catheter system business will be divested to medical device supplier Merit Medical Systems Inc.

The regulator was concerned that the initially proposed deal would negatively impact competition.

According to the FTC complaint, the companies are the top two suppliers in the U.S. markets for tunneled home drainage catheter systems and soft tissue core needle biopsy devices, and new competition in these markets or expansion by current competitors would be unlikely.

Becton Dickinson Chairman and CEO Vincent Forlenza said the company expects the deal to close in December, pending approval by the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.