The approval came after antitrust concerns were addressed by J&J’s decision to sell its DePuy Orthopaedics Trauma business, Bloomberg reported. Combined with Synthes, J&J would have possessed “very high combined market shares” of bone-fracture products, the European Commission said.
The European approval removes one more impediment to the merger that was announced in April of last year, valuing Synthes at 159 Swiss francs ($173.31) per share, in exchange for cash and J&J stock.
European regulators expressed concern for the merger’s effect on prices for orthopedic products and launched an investigation in November.
DePuy Orthopaedics Trauma is being sold to Biomet for $280 million. The transaction is expected to be finalized later this year, a DePuy spokesperson told Bloomberg.
Regulators in China, Japan and Canada have already approved the acquisition. With Europe on board, only U.S. regulators remain undecided. J&J said it was “actively working with” American regulators and expected the deal to close by June, according to Bloomberg.