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U.S. puts conditions on Smiths Group acquisition of Safran's Morpho

WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it will require Smiths Group Plc to divest Morpho Detection LLC and Morpho Detection International LLC's global explosive trace detection business for Smiths to proceed with its proposed $710 million acquisition of Morpho from Safran SA.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction, the department said in a statement. The department also filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the department’s competitive concerns, the statement said. (Reporting by Eric Beech)