Last September 2017, two great companies and competitors in the field of prosthetics joined forces as their commitment to further push the envelope in prosthetic innovation intensifies. Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH (Ottobock) acquired FIH Group Holdings (Freedom Innovations), marking a significant shift in the industry. Both companies are known to have a shared passion for prosthetic innovative solutions, quality of life, human mobility, and independency.
This move signals not only the integration of Freedom Innovations into the global Ottobock family, but also the strengthened capability of both companies to create a broader spectrum of innovative systems in prosthetics as well as an exciting slew of new products.
Maynard C. Carkhuff, chairman of Freedom Innovations, expressed his excitement about the collaboration: "Ottobock is the ideal partner for us. No other company can offer users and employees anything comparable. We're excited to be sharing our journey with Ottobock in the future."
Meanwhile, Dave Reissfelder, CEO of Ottobock, was also positive about the partnership. "I'm really looking forward to being a part of Freedom Innovations. Together with the employees, the management team and Ottobock, we'll make the company flourish," he said.
Upon signing the agreement, Ottobock took over Freedom Innovations and all of its locations and employees. However, Freedom Innovations will still be able to use its current branding.
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. And what better way to promote innovation in prosthetics than by joining forces with another big company. Or is it?
On December 20, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a complaint to challenge the merger. According to the complaint, the merger harmed competition in the US market for microprocessor prosthetic knees and feet by effectively eliminating competition between the two companies. As of this writing, the case is still ongoing.
Did this merger come as a surprise to you? Before the acquisition, which brand of microprocessor prosthetic knees and feet did you prefer and why? We’d love to know what you think about this. Please comment below and share your thoughts with the community!