As communicated in April and November of last year, Cochlear Ltd - a leading hearing implant manufacturer based in Australia - are filing for approval with the competition authorities in UK, Australia and EU to become the new owner of Oticon Medical, the manufacturer of the Ponto and Neuro systems.
In such transactions, relevant competition authorities assess competition law concerns before approving acquisition agreements. Each authority is currently reviewing the transaction.
Now, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its “Provisional Findings” and “Notice of Possible Remedies” in relation to the suggested transaction of Oticon Medical from Demant to Cochlear. The CMA provisionally concludes that the proposed transaction may be expected to result in what they call a “substantial lessening of competition” in the supply of bone conduction solutions in the UK. As these are provisional findings, the CMA will consult on their conclusions and welcome further views before they reach a final decision. This is expected on June 5, 2023. Demant will continue, with Cochlear, to engage constructively with the CMA in order to address the concerns raised.
What happens next?
Besides awaiting this final decision by the CMA, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the European Commission (EC) is also reviewing the case, just as the French Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules will need to be cleared.
In light of the CMA’s provisional findings, the change of ownership is no longer expected to happen in Q2 2023, and we are currently not able to provide an updated timeline.
What does this mean for me and my Ponto and Neuro patients?
The provisional findings of the CMA change nothing for you, neither for your Ponto or Neuro products. Your contacts at Oticon Medical remain the same as they are today. The Ponto and Neuro families of products of course remain available.
Oticon Medical will ensure that warranties and services will be provided to patients, professionals, and the Ponto and Neuro products. This also includes upholding all obligations and contracts regarding products and warranties. We will do our utmost to keep you and our relationship around patients and products unaffected by the ongoing merger filing processes.
We know and fully acknowledge that this is a period of uncertainty for you, your patients and everyone involved.
We will be sure to be in contact with you if there are important updates to the process or if anything changes for your day-to-day interactions with Ponto and Neuro products and patients.
Thank you very much for your support. We value our close collaboration and the trust you have placed and continue to place in us.
President, Oticon Medical