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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


The FTC's Recent Challenge of the Steris/Synergy Transaction Highlights the Impact of 'Likely Future Competition' in Merger Control Analysis

10 June 2015

On May 29th, 2015 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued an administrative complaint against Steris Corporation's $1.9 billion proposed acquisition of Synergy Health plc. Simultaneously the FTC Commissioners also authorized the FTC staff to seek a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in federal court to enjoin the transaction and ensure the companies remain separate pending the administrative trial. According
to the FTC the transaction would violate the U.S. antitrust laws, namely Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 5 of the FTC Act, by harming competition for contract radiation sterilization services. Synergy is not currently an active participant in this market, but the FTC alleges that the transaction would eliminate "likely future competition," between the two transacting parties.

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