What does the FTC do with complaints

US Federal Trade Commission decides the future of Freedom Innovations

Ottobock plans to sell Freedom Innovations assets to Proteor

The international medical technology company Ottobock has reached an agreement with the French orthopedic technology specialist Proteor SAS on the sale of essential assets of Freedom Innovations. The corresponding contracts were signed at the end of September.

With the transaction, Ottobock would comply with an order from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sell certain assets from the US company Freedom Innovations. Background: Ottobock acquired Freedom Innovations in September 2017 with the aim of strengthening the diversity and technological basis of the range of prosthetic products for the benefit of amputees and consumers. The FTC filed a complaint against the acquisition and prohibited Ottobock from integrating Freedom Innovations.

"We have had a very constructive dialogue with the FTC over the past few months and are pleased to be able to present a solution", says Philipp Schulte-Noelle, CEO of Ottobock. "After several years of uncertainty, the proposed transaction is good news for everyone involved and especially for the employees of Freedom Innovations."

The planned transaction with the acquisition of selected products from Freedom Innovations would strengthen Ottobock's product portfolio in the field of prosthetic feet. Specifically, the transaction provides for Ottobock to receive the Kintrol K2 hydraulic ankle prosthesis, the Maverick fiberglass product family and other carbon feet, thereby expanding the range. Proteor would acquire the microprocessor-controlled prosthetic legs, a significant portion of the prosthetic feet and infrastructure assets from Freedom Innovations.

Ottobock today submitted an application for approval of the transaction terms to the FTC, which started a 30-day public consultation phase (“Public Period”). The FTC Commissioners will then act as the highest governance body for the final approval of the proposed transaction. Ottobock expects the planned transaction to be completed by the end of 2020.