Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Tuesday, November 7, 2000


AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn announced today the closure of a four-month joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Justice into the proposed merger of two leading corporations in the field of radiation treatment for cancer patients.

The Texas Attorney General's office received praise from the Justice Department for extensively investigating the acquisition of IMPAC Medical Systems Inc. by Varian Medical Systems Inc., a world industry leader specializing in cancer treatment technologies.

Both companies withdrew their proposals late Monday.

"Our office concluded from our investigation that cancer patients in Texas and the facilities that serve them could be harmed by Varian's acquisition of IMPAC because the merger would effectively shut out competitors and strangle innovation in this rapidly evolving field," said Attorney General Cornyn. "We believe the Justice Department acted in the best interest of those in need of radiation therapy by announcing its intention to block this merger."

In announcing its civil antitrust lawsuit to block Varian's acquisition of IMPAC Medical Systems, a Department of Justice news release states, "The Attorney General's Office of the State of Texas provided valuable assistance and support in the investigation of this acquisition."

Cornyn said the Antitrust Section of his office conducted its investigation of the proposed acquisition this year.

Under the terms of the $135 million merger as planned by the two companies, Varian, which manufactures the costly linear accelerators used by medical professionals to deliver radiation therapy to patients, would absorb IMPAC, a manufacturer of the radiation oncology software that Varian relies on to complement the operation of the accelerators. Varian also manufactures such software, but IMPAC is its only competitor.

Because the use of the software technology makes for more efficient patient services, its applications are increasing. The Texas Attorney General and the U.S. Justice Department concluded that the Varian/IMPAC merger would stifle, not enhance, innovation and competition surrounding the growth of the technology, and ultimately, would block improved methods of treatment.

Varian is a Delaware corporation with principal offices in Palo Alto, Calif. Its 1999 revenues totaled $590 million, according to company documents. IMPAC is a privately held California company with offices in Mountain View. Its 1999 revenues were about $21 million.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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