"This regulatory clearance represents an important milestone in bringing our companies together," said Omar Ishrak, Chairman and CEO of Medtronic.

"We continue to make good progress in planning for the integration of these two companies which will unite them under a single mission – to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life for patients with chronic disease around the world. When the transaction is complete, the combined company will allow Medtronic to reach more patients, in more ways and in more places."

The FTC’s clearance follows Medtronic’s and Covidien’s agreement to a proposed consent order, which includes a commitment to divest certain assets related to Covidien’s drug-coated balloon catheter product.

As previously announced, a subsidiary of Covidien entered into an agreement to divest these assets to The Spectranetics Corporation and the divestiture is expected to close shortly following completion of Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien.

Medtronic and Covidien also entered into a parallel consent agreement regarding the divestiture of assets related to Covidien’s drug-coated balloon catheter product with the Canadian Competition Bureau, which also announced its clearance of the transaction.

Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien is expected to close in early 2015 after receipt of certain additional regulatory clearances and approvals by both companies’ shareholders and sanction by the High Court of Ireland.