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) --



acquisition of



has received approval from the European Commission but the companies were required to sell off certain assets to alleviate antitrust concerns.

Agilent will sell its entire micro/portable gas chromatography instrument business and Varian will divest itself of its laboratory gas chromatography, triple quadrupole gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry instrument businesses, the EU said in a statement Thursday.

"After market testing the proposed commitments, the Commission concluded that they would remove the competition concerns identified and ensure that effective competition would not be impeded as a result of the proposed transaction," the EU said.

Agilent agreed to buy Varian

for $1.5 billion in July.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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