Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is to sell its Cordis Corp unit’s coronary steerable guidewires business in Canada in order to satisfy that country’s Competition Bureau’s concerns about its proposed $25.4 billion acquisition of Guidant Corp [[16/12/04a]].

Canada’s antitrust agency has decided not to take any action on the planned Guidant purchase after having “conducted an extensive review” of markets affected by the deal, but said it was worried that the acquisition would stifle competition in the country’s steerable guidewires sector, hence the decision by J&J to sell its business there. The Competition Board added that it will monitor market developments after the acquisition for a three-year period in some Canadian markets.

Approval of the Guidant deal by Canada comes just after European regulators gave it the green light [[26/08/05b]] and a decision from the US Federal Trade Commission is expected in October.