U.S. Justice Dept. will not oppose GE's bid for Amersham

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The U.S. Justice Department on Dec. 4 notified General Electric (GE) Co. that antitrust officials will not oppose GE's proposed acquisition of United Kingdom-based Amersham plc.

 GE is offering $9.5 billion to buy Amersham in order to enter the pharmaceutical market and help catapult GE Medical Systems (GEMS) into a leading position in the high-growth molecular imaging market.

 The Justice Dept. recently completed its investigation of the GE-Amersham proposal without taking any action, according to the notice.

 If and when GE acquires Amersham, GEMS would create a new Life Science unit from Amersham, making it the fourth business in GEMS, along with Diagnostic Imaging, Services and Information Technologies. GEMS also would relocate its cyclotron product line into the Life Science unit.

 The addition of Amersham also would make GEMS a $13 billion business.