FTC Issues Final Order Settling Charges Against Medtronic for Acquisition of Ear, Nose and Throat Competitor

On June 30, the FTC approved a final order settling charges against Medtronic, Inc. for its acquisition of Intersect ENT, Inc. with the intent to protect patients who rely on medical instruments used in sinus procedures. 

In May 2022, the FTC issued an order requiring Medtronic to divest Fiagon, a subsidiary of Intersect ENT, Inc., as part of its proposed acquisition of Intersect ENT, which Law Street Media previously covered. The initial order and the press release accompanying the final order allege that the market for ear, nose and throat navigation systems and balloon sinus dilation products are heavily concentrated, and the acquisition would result in higher prices and reduced innovation in the market. 

The FTC further alleges that Medtronic’s acquisition of Intersect ENT’s subsidiary would cause further concentration in the market resulting in direct harm to patients. In the final order, the FTC states that it prepared a draft charging Medtronic and Intersect ENT with violations of the Clayton Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commision Act. However, before issuing the complaint, the parties agreed to a consent agreement that was placed on the public record for receipt and consideration of public comments for 30 days. 

Following the public comment period, the FTC issued the final order settling the charges in the complaint and requiring Medtronic and Intersect ENT to divest the entire Fiagon business to Hemostasis, LLC no later than ten days after Medtronic acquires Intersect ENT. Additionally, the final order requires Hemostasis to obtain prior approval for three years before transferring any of the divested assets to any buyer and for seven additional years before transferring any divested assets to a buyer that manufactures and sells ENT navigation systems or balloon sinus dilation products.

The press release states that the Commission voted 5-0 to approve the final order to prevent further concentration that would ultimately harm consumers.