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Regulator OKs Thermo Fisher $13.6B Life Tech deal

The Associated Press

The Federal Trade Commission said Friday it has approved Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.'s $13.6 billion acquisition of Life Technologies Corp., as long as the scientific instrument maker sells some assets to a unit of General Electric Co.

The FTC wants Thermo Fisher to sell cell culture, gene modulation and magnetic beads businesses, because its acquisition of Life Technologies would likely lessen competition in the sector. Thermo Fisher already announced in early January that it would sell those businesses for about $1.06 billion to GE Healthcare's life sciences unit in order to seek approval of the Life Technologies deal from the European Commission.

Thermo Fisher has 45 days after the Life Technologies deal closes to sell the businesses to GE, a spokesman for the FTC said.

The FTC said it worked with antitrust agencies in Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, and Korea.

Thermo Fisher, which is based in Waltham, Mass., originally agreed to buy Carlsbad, Calif.-based Life Technologies last April. Life Technologies uses genetic analysis to tailor treatments to patients.

Shares of Thermo Fisher rose 14 cents to $115.13 in afternoon trading. Life Technologies shares rose 11 cents to $76.07.