Radioactive tracer merger cleared
The CMA has cleared Alliance’s acquisition of the assets of the IBA business used to produce a radioactive tracer for cancer diagnosis.
This confirms the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) provisional decision which was published last month and has been made by a group of independent CMA panel members (see notes for editors).
Alliance Medical Group Limited (Alliance) and IBA Molecular UK Limited (the IBA business) supply Fluorodeoxyglucose 18F (FDG-18), a radioactive tracer used in PET-CT scans which is purchased by hospitals and others who provide such scans. Due to its short radioactive half-life, an effective dose can only be given to a patient within a maximum of 8 hours following production, which limits the area which can be served by a particular production unit.
In its final report published today, the CMA states that the IBA business had been consistently loss-making for several years, its losses would have worsened and it suffered from a weak competitive position, making it likely that, without this merger, it would have ceased to produce FDG-18 and there would not have been an alternative purchaser of the business.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) referred the case to the Competition Commission (CC) in March 2014 following a phase 1 review, since which time the CMA has taken over the case (see notes for editors).
Notes for editors
- 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. From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the CC and the competition and certain consumer functions of the OFT, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
- The CMA therefore took over this case from the CC at the start of April.
- All the CMA’s functions in phase 2 merger inquiries are performed by inquiry groups chosen from the CMA’s panel members. The appointed inquiry group are the decision makers on phase 2 inquiries.
- The members of the Alliance/IBA merger group are: John Wotton (Inquiry Chair), Sarah Chambers, John Krumins and Tim Tutton.
- The CMA’s independent 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 (including industry experience).
- Enquiries should be directed by email to Rory.Taylor@cma.gsi.gov.uk or Siobhan.Allen@cma.gsi.gov.uk or by ringing 020 3738 6798 or 020 3738 6460.
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