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Thermo Fisher cleared to acquire Life Technologies

Thermo Fisher cleared to acquire Life Technologies subject to a divestment undertaking
Issued 19 December 2013, Release No. 61
The Commerce Commission has cleared Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (Thermo Fisher) to acquire Life Technologies Corporation (Life Technologies). The clearance is conditional on Thermo Fisher selling its foetal bovine serum (FBS) business to a third party.

Thermo Fisher and Life Technologies both operate in the life sciences industry. They produce a wide range of products for scientific applications. Areas of product overlap include cell culture, transplant diagnostics, protein and molecular biology.

The Commission is satisfied that the low aggregation of market share means that the proposed acquisition would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in markets for all products except the production of FBS.

Thermo Fisher has provided an undertaking that it will sell its New Zealand assets with respect to the production of FBS.

The Commission is satisfied that the divestment of the cell culture business to an independent competitor will be sufficient to remedy the competitive harm.

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available soon on the Commission's website at www.comcom.govt.nz/clearances-register

Background
When considering a proposed merger, the Commission must decide whether the competition that is lost in a market when two businesses merge is substantial. We will give clearance to a proposed merger only if we are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

See our Merger Assessment fact sheet which explains how the Commission assesses a merger application.

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