J&J offers concessions to EU in Synthes takeover

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission said Wednesday Johnson & Johnson has offered concessions hoping they will convince the EU's antitrust regulator to clear J&J's takeover of Swiss orthopedics maker Synthes.

In a note posted on its website Wednesday, the Commission says J&J proposed concessions on Tuesday, without giving details.

In November, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the takeover, saying it could create an overly dominant player in the market for spine repair products and other orthopedic devices.

The Commission has until April 26 to decide whether to clear the takeover.

U.S. health care conglomerate J&J decided to buy Synthes for $21.3 billion last year, hoping it will help offset declines in sales from some of its biggest over-the-counter medications.

If the deal is cleared, it'll be the biggest in J&J's history.

Lorie Gawreluk, a J&J spokeswoman at its New Brunswick, N.J., headquarters, said the company isn't providing any details on the concessions offered.

"We continue to make progress in our work with antitrust authorities and look forward to closing the transaction in the first half of this year," she said in an emailed statement.

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