Press release

CMA clears VTech/LeapFrog merger

The CMA has formally cleared the merger of children’s toymakers VTech and LeapFrog.

Child playing with a tablet

The companies are 2 of the leading suppliers of learning toys, child tablets and content in the UK. An in-depth investigation by a group of independent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) panel members has confirmed that the merger may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition.

The CMA published its provisional decision to clear the merger in December.

The group found that while the companies are close competitors in the supply of learning toys for 0 to 5 year olds, there are numerous other credible suppliers in the sector, and VTech and LeapFrog were not each other’s closest competitor. The group also found that the market for child tablets and content is evolving rapidly, with new entrants and an increasing number of alternatives available for child-appropriate content on electronic devices.

Philip Marsden, Inquiry Chair, said:

We looked carefully at competition in the evolving and innovative toy industry, and in particular at learning toys and child tablets. Having consulted on our provisional findings, we are still satisfied that even after the merger there will be a sufficient variety of learning toys for 0 to 5 year olds available, and an increasing choice available for people who want to buy electronic devices and content suitable for children.

The final report and all information relating to this merger inquiry can be found on the case page.

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.
  2. The CMA began its initial investigation into the merger in April 2016. The CMA referred the case for in-depth investigation on 30 August 2016 and published its provisional findings on 9 December 2016.
  3. The members of the inquiry group are: Philip Marsden (Inquiry Chair), Lesley Ainsworth, Graham Sharp and Jon Stern.
  4. All the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by independent inquiry groups chosen from the CMA’s panel members. The appointed inquiry group are the decision-makers on phase 2 inquiries.
  5. The CMA’s panel members come from a variety of backgrounds, including economics, law, accountancy and/or business; the membership of an inquiry group usually reflects a mix of expertise and experience.
  6. For more information on the CMA see our homepage or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn and like our Facebook page. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on mergers cases.
  7. Media enquiries should be directed to Rebecca Cassar (, 020 3738 6633).
Published 12 January 2017