The Commission approves the merger of two US dental equipment companies

The acquisition of Sirona by Dentsply was accepted by the Commission this week with some binding conditions. Both companies are global manufacturers who develop, manufacture and market dental products for the professional dental market. These two companies produce CAD/CAM materials, small dental equipment, implants and dental imaging systems with Sirona having focused on more innovative solutions.

The conditions given to the merger by the Commission concern the CAD/CAM blocks. As Sirona already has quite a dominant position in some member states and all of the EEA with its chairside CAD/CAM systems, some conditions were given to ensure the future compatibility of the CAD/CAM blocks of the merged entity with those of other producers in the EU market to ensure competition and to discourage the increase in prices of these materials to the dentists, and ultimately their European customers.

The parties to the merger committed to ensure compatibility with competitors through committing to an extension of the existing licensing agreements with the competing chairside CAD/CAM block suppliers by 10 years, legal and technical safeguards for the duration of their competitors licensing agreements and an agreement to solve possible disputes in a fast-tract arbitration procedure. The transaction is accepted if the merged entity fully complies with the above mentioned commitments. The merger came under the Commissions microscope because it exceeded the threshold amounts of merger regulation EC No 139/2004.

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