October 4, 2016 / 10:02 AM / a year ago

EU ruling on $25 billion Abbott, St. Jude deal due by November 9

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators will decide by Nov. 9 whether to clear U.S. pharmaceuticals company Abbott Laboratories’ (ABT.N) $25-billion bid for St. Jude Medical Inc STJ.N aimed at helping it better compete with bigger rivals.

Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, December 10, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Abbott sought the European Commission’s approval for the deal on Oct. 3, according to a filing on the EU competition enforcer’s website on Tuesday.

The Commission can either clear the deal with or without concessions or it can open a full-scale investigation if it has serious concerns. The majority of pharmaceutical mergers get the green light with or without conditions in the EU’s preliminary review.

Abbott’s takeover bid comes as medical equipment makers come under pressure to offer a wider portfolio of products to hospital customers, which have gained more negotiating power on pricing after a wave of mergers.

Abbott competes against Medtronic Plc (MDT.N) and Boston Scientific Corp (BSX.N).

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter

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