EU greenlights Philips $5.1B Respironics purchase, overcoming monopoly fears
European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Source: SustainPack  
The European Union (EU) approved the $5.1 billion acquisition of Respironics by Royal Philips Electronics, following an investigation into the possible anti-competitive nature of the purchase.

Certain products manufactured by Philips, such as light boxes and baby monitors, will overlap with existing products produced by the Murrysville, Pa.-based Respironics and the EU was concerned that as a combined entity, the companies would have an unacceptably large market share.

“The European Commission concluded the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or in any substantial part of it,” the European Union said in a statement.

The approval was issued on the last day of a 25-day, deal-review period that the EU was given to accept or reject the transaction.

“The Commission’s market investigation confirmed the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to raise competition concerns as the combined market share of Philips and Respironics would not exceed 25 percent in any national market,” the EC said in an official statement.

Phillips had extended its tender offer twice for Respironics to accommodate the European review. The first extension expired Feb. 22; the second is set to expire today.

Respironics agreed in December 2007 to a $66 per share, all-cash deal with Philips. When the deal was announced, Philips said that Respironics' Pennsylvania office would become its U.S. headquarters for Royal Philips' Home Healthcare Solutions unit.