EU gives Philips go ahead for US$5.1bn healthcare buy

6 Mar 2008

Following an investigation into the possible anti-competitive nature of the acquisition of electronics healthcare firm Respironics by Philips for US$5.1bn, the European Commission has given the go-ahead for the deal.

This US$5.1bn acquisition is Philips’ largest deal to date in its effort to branch out further in the healthcare sector.

However, certain products produced by Philips such as light boxes and baby monitors will overlap with existing products produced by the Pennsylvania-based Respironics and there was a worry that when combined the companies would have an overly large market share.

After looking into this possibility, the European Commission was satisfied this would not be the case.

“The Commission’s market investigation confirmed the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to raise competition concerns as the combined market share of Philips and Respironics would not exceed 25pc in any national market,” said the EC in an official statement.

The EC further said that looking at potential vertical relationships between the two companies, there existed a sufficient number of alternatives or competitors on the market so as not to fear a monopoly.

Philips is headquartered in Amsterdam and is one of the biggest electronics firms worldwide with Philips Healthcare, which supplies medical equipment but also carries out technological healthcare research, as one of many offshoots.

By Marie Boran