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UK Has Issues With $125M Hearing Implant Merger

 |  June 23, 2023

On Thursday, the competition watchdog prevented a portion of the proposed merger between two hearing implant companies, citing protection of customers and the NHS as its reason.

The proposed merger between Cochlear Limited and Oticon Medical has been denied by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

In April of last year, Cochlear acquired Oticon Medical from Demant, a Danish company, for a sum of 850 million Danish krone (£98 million).

The CMA discovered that the proposed agreement may result in a significant reduction in competition in the bone conduction solution (BCS) product market.

Read more: Vodafone, Hutchison Set To Announce UK Merger

If the deal goes through, the combined company would have dominance of over 90% of the UK market, and it is unlikely that new competitors would pose any significant threat to Cochlear.

The outcome of this could result in patients having limited options, lower quality products, or decreased innovation when selecting a hearing implant.

The implementation of this new policy could potentially lead to increased costs for the NHS, as they are the largest purchaser of hearing implants in the UK.

“Our primary concern is the well-being of patients. We found that the full merger could reduce innovation and quality and potentially cost the NHS more through higher prices,” said Kip Meek, chair of the independent panel of experts conducting this investigation.