CCCS Consults on Proposed Merger of Hearing Aid Suppliers Sivantos and Widex
5 September 2018
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The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (“CCCS”) is conducting a public consultation from 5 September 2018 to 19 September 2018 to invite interested parties to provide feedback on a joint notification by EQT Fund Management S.à r.l. (“EQT”) and Widex Holding A/S (“Widex Holding”) (collectively, the “Parties”) in relation to the creation of a full function joint venture, which will combine the activities of Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) (“Sivantos”) and Widex A/S (“Widex”) (being subsidiaries of EQT and Widex Holding respectively) and their respective subsidiaries under a newly incorporated joint venture entity (the “Proposed Transaction”).
2. Headquartered in Singapore, Sivantos manufactures and assembles hearing aids at various sites around the world. Its portfolio includes complementary accessories, fitting software, smartphone applications and diagnostics workflow solutions.
3. In Singapore, Sivantos supplies traditional and body-worn hearing aids to third-party retailers, and provides the respective after sales support, including warranty support, servicing of hearing aid devices, repairs, and maintenance. Sivantos also supplies traditional and body-worn hearing aids to government and private hospitals.
4. Widex manufactures and assembles hearing aids which are sub-assembled at various sites around the world. Widex’s portfolio include complementary accessories, fitting software and smartphone applications.
5. In Singapore, Widex retails traditional hearing aids in its three retail outlets and supplies traditional hearing aids to government and private hospitals. Widex also carries out after-sales services, servicing of devices, repairs or maintenance for Widex products.
Overlapping products and/or services
6. The Parties consider that they overlap in the supply of the following traditional hearing aids in Singapore:
- behind-the-ear (“BTE”) hearing aids;
- Super-power BTE hearing aids;
- receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids;
- in-the-ear (“ITE”) hearing aids;
- in-the-canal hearing aids;
- completely-in-canal hearing aids; and
- invisible-in-the-canal hearing aids,
and in the provision of the associated after sales support, including warranty support, servicing of hearing aid devices, repairs, and maintenance.
7. The Parties submitted that the Proposed Transaction will not give rise to anti-competitive effects as the joint venture entity will continue to face a strong competitive constraint from:
- The presence of a number of established competitors;
- Low barriers to entry and expansion; and
- Customers’ (including hospitals and retailers) ease of switching suppliers.
8. CCCS is inviting public feedback in relation to the Proposed Transaction.
9. More information on the public consultation can be accessed and downloaded from the CCCS website at www.cccs.gov.sg under the section “Public Register and Consultation”. The closing date for submissions is on or before 19 September 2018. If the submission/correspondence contains confidential information, please also provide CCCS with a non-confidential version of the submission or correspondence.
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