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Pacific Radiology acquisition cleared

Pacific Radiology cleared to acquire Wellington Radiology

The Commerce Commission has cleared Pacific Radiology Limited to acquire all the assets of Wellington Radiology Limited.

Commission Chair Paula Rebstock said the Commission undertook an extensive investigation into the Application for Clearance submitted by Pacific Radiology and found that the alternative to Pacific Radiology acquiring Wellington Radiology is the exit of Wellington Radiology from the relevant markets. To this extent, the Commission considers that, either with or without the acquisition, there is likely to be little difference in the level of competition in the relevant markets.

In the Greater Wellington region, there are only two private providers of radiology services: Wellington Radiology and Pacific Radiology. The acquisition would result in there being only one provider in the region.

Wellington Radiology is owned and operated by two radiologists, one of whom intends to retire. As there is a nationwide shortage of radiologists, Wellington Radiology has been unsuccessful in finding a radiologist to replace the retiring partner.

Because of this, Wellington Radiology has sought to sell its business but has not attracted any offers from outside of the region, despite concerted efforts to do so. This is largely due to the shortage of radiologists.

Consequently the Commission has concluded that the acquisition of Wellington Radiology Ltd by Pacific Radiology Limited would not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in the market.

Background
Pacific Radiology Limited provides both low tech radiology services, such as X-rays and mammograms, and high tech radiology services, such as CT scans and MRI scans, from a number of practice locations in the greater Wellington region. Presently, Pacific Radiology utilises the services of 13 radiologists in the Greater Wellington region.

Wellington Radiology Limited provides low tech radiology services from its practice locations in Central Wellington, the Bowen Hospital and in Porirua.

A public version of the written decision will be available as soon as practicable on the Commission's website, www.comcom.govt.nz, under Public Registers.

ENDS

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