Becton, Dickinson to divest two product lines for C R Bard buy: FTC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. medical equipment supplier Becton Dickinson BDX.N and C R Bard BCR.N have agreed to divest two product lines to satisfy U.S. Federal Trade Commission concerns their proposed $24 billion merger would negatively affect competition.

The FTC said in a statement on Friday that Becton, Dickinson’s acquisition of Bard as initially proposed would harm competition by combining the top two suppliers in the U.S. markets for tunnelled home drainage catheter systems and soft tissue core needle biopsy devices.

The cash-and-stock deal, announced in April, will add Bard’s devices in the high-growth sectors of oncology and surgery to Becton Dickinson’s portfolio.

As part of the settlement with the FTC, Becton, Dickinson's soft tissue core needle biopsy device business and Bard's tunnelled home drainage catheter system business were sold to Utah-based medical device supplier Merit Medical Systems MMSI.O in November for $100 million.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Richard Chang