Honeywell Deal for Intermec Cleared With Licensing Terms

Honeywell International Inc.’s $600 million purchase of Intermec Inc. won approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on the condition that it license patents for barcode scanners.

Honeywell agreed to license patents used in the manufacture of two-dimensional scanners to Bologna, Italy-based Datalogic SpA under a settlement with the FTC that resolves claims the deal as originally proposed would be anticompetitive, the agency said today in a statement.

“Licensing requirements can preserve competition in markets where access to needed technology is the main barrier to entry,” said Deborah Feinstein, director of the FTC’s bureau of competition. “The proposed order gives Datalogic access to the patents it needs to enter the U.S. market immediately and restore the competition lost due to the merger.”

Honeywell, the Morris Township, New Jersey-based maker of flight controls and thermostats, announced in December the agreement to buy Everett, Washington-based Intermec, a provider of radio frequency-identification products.

Two-dimensional scan engines translate barcodes into a digital format that computer processors can interpret and analyze. Retail store scanners, kiosks and rugged mobile handheld computers use the engines to capture digital data, the FTC said.

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