Judge Recommends Ottobock Divest Freedom Innovations Assets

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its administrative law judge's initial decision on May 7 regarding the acquisition of Freedom Innovations, Irvine, California, by Otto Bock HealthCare, Duderstadt, Germany (aka Ottobock). The administrative law judge recommended to the FTC the divestiture of certain assets of Freedom Innovations by Ottobock.

Ottobock expressed its disappointment in the initial decision but said it will continue to work in a collaborative manner with the FTC to promptly reach a mutually beneficial resolution.

Ottobock acquired Freedom Innovations in September 2017. The FTC issued an administrative complaint in December 2017 saying that the merger "harmed competition in the U.S. market for microprocessor prosthetic knees by eliminating head-to-head competition between the two companies, removing a significant and disruptive competitor, and entrenching Otto Bock's position as the dominant supplier."

As Ottobock evaluates its potential actions, Freedom Innovations will continue to operate as an independent business.