Competition Bureau reaches agreement with global healthcare company Abbott

News Release

Assets to be sold to Siemens AG and Quidel Corporation

September 28, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached an agreement with Abbott Laboratories that resolves the Bureau’s concerns related to Abbott’s proposed acquisition of Alere Inc. The agreement will preserve competition in the supply of medical diagnostic testing products in Canada.

The Bureau’s review of the proposed merger determined that it would likely result in a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of certain types of medical diagnostic testing products. In Canada, both Abbott and Alere sell point of care testing systems that are used to measure the levels of blood gases and cardiac markers in the blood. The Abbott system is called the i-STAT and the Alere systems are called the Epoc and Triage. The companies also manufacture versions of their i-STAT and Epoc systems for animal health.

To resolve the Bureau’s concerns, the agreement requires the sale of Alere’s Epoc system to Siemens AG and its Triage system to Quidel Corporation, including related intellectual property. Upon a careful review, the Bureau determined that the sales to Siemens and Quidel would resolve the likely substantial lessening of competition.

Given that Abbott and Alere’s diagnostics businesses operate in many countries and the global nature of the transaction, the Bureau coordinated its review with other jurisdictions, including the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (U.S. FTC). The Bureau's strong relationships with these international counterparts led to an efficient review of this matter. The Bureau’s coordination with the U.S. FTC was consistent with the agencies' agreement on Best Practices on Cooperation in Cross‑Border Merger Investigations.

The Bureau is satisfied that the agreement will preserve competition in Canada, including with respect to price and innovation, in the supply of bedside blood gas and cardiac marker testing systems for human health and point of care blood gas testing systems for animal health.


“We are pleased that Abbott worked cooperatively with the Bureau to help resolve our competition concerns. This agreement will ensure that competition and innovation is preserved in the supply of point of care testing systems that Canadians rely on.”

Matthew Boswell,
Senior Deputy Commissioner, Mergers and Monopolistic Practices Branch

Quick Facts

  • Abbott, headquartered in Illinois, U.S., is a global healthcare company that has a number of business segments, including diagnostics.

  • Alere, headquartered in Massachusetts, U.S., is a global medical diagnostics company, with a focus on point of care testing.

  • Siemens, headquartered in Germany, is a global company that is active across a variety of sectors, including healthcare.

  • Quidel, headquartered in California, U.S., is a global diagnostics company that offers products to aid in the detection of various diseases and conditions.

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