Competition & Markets Authority
Thermo Fisher’s takeover of Gatan comes under CMA microscope
Thermo Fisher’s acquisition of Gatan from Roper Technology raises concerns that customers using specialist microscopes could face higher prices or lower quality products.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Thermo Fisher’s $925 million takeover of Roper Technologies’ Gatan business.
Thermo Fisher manufactures, among other things, high-tech electron microscopes used for scientific research, while Gatan produces highly-specialised “peripherals” or add-ons, such as filters, cameras and detectors, which enhance the performance of microscopes for customers such as UK universities.
After completing its Phase 1 investigation, the CMA has concerns that the deal could adversely affect Thermo Fisher’s 2 rivals in the sector, who use Gatan peripherals with their electron microscopes. For some products, including certain filters and cameras, there are either no - or extremely limited - alternatives to Gatan available.
The CMA is concerned that the proposed deal could allow Thermo Fisher to weaken its competitors, enhancing its own already strong market position, and lead to higher prices for customers using electron microscopes.
Additionally, the investigation has raised concerns that the merger will leave Thermo Fisher with insufficient competition in the market for direct detection cameras, as Gatan is currently 1 of only 2 competitors in the supply of these instruments.
As well as potentially resulting in higher prices for customers across the sector, the CMA has concerns that less competition would reduce the incentive for further product development.
If the merging businesses are unable to address the CMA’s concerns, the merger will be referred for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, to be carried out by a group of independent CMA panel members.
Further details are available on the Thermo Fisher Scientific / Roper Technologies merger inquiry page.
Latest News from
Competition & Markets Authority
Sainsbury’s / Asda merger could push up prices and reduce quality21/02/2019 09:20:00
The CMA has provisionally found extensive competition concerns as part of its in-depth investigation of the proposed merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda.
Banks scored on quality of service: latest results published18/02/2019 09:20:00
The second set of banking customer satisfaction results were recently (15 February 2019) published, following an independent survey of thousands of personal and small business customers.
Trust and Brexit amongst priorities for CMA in annual plan15/02/2019 15:20:00
Ensuring markets work in people’s favour is a priority for the CMA, which yesterday published its annual plan.
CMA welcomes court ruling to uphold fine in steel tanks case15/02/2019 14:10:00
The CMA has welcomed a judgment from the Court of Appeal today upholding its fine on Balmoral Tanks for illegally exchanging price information.
CMA to launch in-depth investigation of Tobii / Smartbox merger11/02/2019 09:20:00
The CMA recently (08 February 2019) referred Tobii’s purchase of Smartbox for an in-depth investigation, after finding competition concerns.
CMA launches court action against Care UK08/02/2019 09:20:00
The CMA has issued court proceedings against Care UK after it refused to refund residents who had to pay a compulsory upfront fee.
Hotel booking sites to make major changes after CMA probe07/02/2019 12:20:00
The CMA has secured a victory for UK holidaymakers as some of the biggest online hotel booking sites make formal commitments to change their ways.
CMA orders sale of customer contracts in washroom suppliers’ merger28/01/2019 10:20:00
Rentokil Initial must sell several large supply contracts to satisfy CMA concerns over its merger with Cannon Hygiene.