BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union's competition regulator says it has approved Johnson & Johnson's $21.3 billion acquisition of Swiss orthopedics maker Synthes.
The European Commission said Thursday J&J's promise to sell its trauma business ensured "the merged entity would continue to face competition" and left doctors and patients with a sufficient choice of alternatives.
Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the sale of the trauma business would be for the "benefit of patients and social security systems."
U.S. health care conglomerate J&J moved to buy Synthes last year in its biggest ever acquisition. It hoped the deal would help offset declines in sales from some of its biggest over-the-counter medicines.