FTC Approves Otto Bock HealthCare North America, Inc.’s Application to Divest Assets

Divestiture preserves competition for microprocessor prosthetic knees

Washington, DC (STL.News) The Federal Trade Commission has approved an application by prosthetics manufacturer Otto Bock HealthCare North America, Inc. to divest to Proteor, Inc. certain assets it acquired when it consummated its acquisition of FIH Group Holdings, LLC, also known as Freedom Innovations, including all microprocessor prosthetic knee, or MPK, products and technology.

The application notes that Proteor, a French company with U.S. headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, is a well-established and reputable worldwide manufacturer and supplier of lower-limb prosthetic devices.  Additionally, according to the divestiture application, the proposed divestiture would accomplish the final order’s purposes by ensuring the continued operation of Freedom Innovations’ MPK business within Proteor and by remedying the lessening of competition that was alleged in the complaint.

In November 2019, upholding an administrative law judge’s decision, the Federal Trade Commission unanimously found that the merger was anti-competitive, and it issued the final order requiring Ottobock to divest the Freedom Innovations business, with limited exceptions.  Upon approval of the divestiture application by the Commission, Ottobock will immediately withdraw its petition for review, which is currently stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The Commission vote to approve the application was 5-0.