Competition Commission
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Optimax / Ultralase issues statement

The Competition Commission (CC) has published an issues statement as part of its investigation into Optimax Clinics Limited’s (Optimax’s) completed acquisition of Ultralase Ltd (Ultralase).

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the case in July, and the CC will decide whether the acquisition may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any market or markets for goods or services in the UK.

Optimax acquired Ultralase, which operated 23 laser eye treatment clinics and three consultation centres across the UK, in November 2012. The OFT states that the parties are two of the three largest suppliers of laser eye treatments in the UK, the other being Optical Express.

The CC is expected to publish its final report by 12 January 2014.

The issues statement identifies for all interested parties the key questions which the inquiry is examining. The issues statement does not imply that the Inquiry Group has yet identified any competition concerns.

The full issues statement is available on the inquiry home page along with all other information relating to the investigation.

Any interested party is invited to respond to the issues statement, in writing, by no later than 16 September 2013. To submit evidence, please email optimax-ultralase@cc.gsi.gov.uk or write to:

Inquiry Manager
Optimax/Ultralase inquiry
Competition Commission
Victoria House
Southampton Row
LONDON
WC1B 4AD

Notes for editors

1. The CC is an independent public body, which carries out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries.

2. The members of the Optimax/Ultralase Inquiry Group are: Alasdair Smith (CC Deputy Chairman & Chairman of the Group), Gavin RobertJohn Krumins and Ed Smith.

3. The Enterprise Act 2002 empowers the OFT to refer to the CC completed or proposed mergers for investigation and report which create or enhance a 25 per cent share of supply in the UK (or a substantial part thereof) or where the UK turnover associated with the enterprise being acquired is over £70 million.

4. The CC has a 24-week period in which it is required to publish its report, which may be extended by no more than eight weeks if it considers that there are special reasons why the report cannot be published within that period.

5. Further information on this inquiry, including the terms of reference and other key documents, as well as on the CC and its procedures, including its policy on the provision of information and the disclosure of evidence, can be obtained from the CC website at: www.competition-commission.org.uk.

6. Enquiries should be directed to Rory Taylor or Siobhan Allen or by ringing 020 7271 0242.


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