Having said my piece on the whole Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) - Guidant (NYSE:GDT) - Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) hoop-dee-do already, I was hoping that last week's installment would be the end of the story -- Guidant and J&J would get together, live happily ever after, roll the credits.

No such luck. Once again, Boston Scientific has upped the ante in the bidding war for the troubled but clearly valuable Indianapolis medical-device maker that is Guidant.

BSX's latest offer is $80 a share -- $42 in cash and $38 in stock. In order to fund this increased largesse to Guidant shareholders, BSX has re-engineered its prospective agreement with Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) regarding the cardiovascular device assets of Guidant that would overlap with BSX's existing business. While I'd suggest that interested Fools read the press release for themselves, part of the new Abbott-BSX agreement would call for Abbott buying about 4% of the combined company.

Simply put, this is starting to get nuts. In order to make the $80 per-share price seem reasonable, you've got to make some exceptionally generous assumptions about how well Guidant will do over the next 10 years. And let's not forget something -- not only is Guidant troubled today, but BSX has never run a cardiac rhythm management business before.

So what's going on here? Maybe it's ego. I mean, we've all seen bidding wars where the competitive juices get flowing and companies start making bids with their gonads instead of their brains. Maybe it's desperation. Is Boston Scientific's drive for this deal a tacit admission that it can't really ensure future growth with the collection of businesses and products it has today?

Whatever the case, I've got to think that Abbott is loving this -- one way or another, it's going to get a jumpstart in its own stent business and see a rival tie itself up with an expensive acquisition. Along the same lines, I've got to think that this amuses Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) -- two large medical-device companies are bidding for the rights to get pounded on by the 800-pound gorilla in that market.

I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this. Should J&J up its bid, I'd love to hear it explain why it was ultimately willing to pay more than its original bid when we had to go through the post-scandal hand-wringing about lowering the bid. And for Boston Scientifics' part, I sure hope the board knows what it's doing, because it's staking the company on this.

For more on this never-ending story:

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson owns shares of Johnson & Johnson but has no financial interest in any other stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares). The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.