BRUSSELS, April 19 U.S. healthcare company
Johnson & Johnson secured EU clearance on Thursday to
purchase Swiss medical device maker Synthes Inc. for
about $21 billion, a move to boost its orthopaedics franchise.
The deal is J&J's largest acquisition. It won EU regulatory
approval after J&J committed to divest its trauma business in
the EU, which had raised competition concerns.
The European Commission, the EU's competition watchdog, said
in a statement that the merged group would continue to face
competition from several strong rivals and that customers would
still have sufficient alternative suppliers.
"We obtained remedies to ensure that competition will remain
strong in these markets, for the ultimate benefit of patients
and social security systems," EU Competition Commissioner
Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.