United Kingdom Merger Control: Recent Developments in the Failing Firm Defence* On 15 August 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) approved Alliance Medical Group’s completed acquisition of IBA Molecular’s radioactive medical tracer business. Although IBA’s business was loss-making, would have exited the market and there was no other credible buyer for it, the CMA refused to apply the ‘failing firm’ (or ‘exiting firm’) defence, as it was not inevitable that, in the event of IBA’s exit, all or most of its existing customer contracts would have passed to Alliance. The CMA did, however, find that the merger did not substantially lessen competition, as there would remain two strong competitors, so ensuring continued customer choice. Given the difficult economic circumstances of the
The UK Competition and Markets Authority refuses to apply the failing firm defence to clear a merger in phase II (Alliance / IBA)
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