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Cochlear disagrees with new competition concerns over takeover

Manufacturing News

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has again rebuffed competition concerns from authorities over its planned takeover of competitor Oticon Medical for $170 million, which followed a decision by parent company Demant to exit the hearing implants business.

Cochlear said it disagreed with the conclusions of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which found provisionally that the acquisition may result in a substantial lessening in the supply of bone conduction hearing aids.

In particular the CMA asserts that the competition between firms supplying bone conducting solutions in the UK to hearing loss was critical to driving innovation.

It also said that the acquisition could lead to recipients who need hearing implants losing out with less choice, reduced quality, or higher prices.

Earlier Cochlear rejected similar competition concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) due to there being few global manufacturers of such devices.

However Cochlear said it disagreed with the CMA.

Cochlear said: “Innovation is at the heart of Cochlear’s mission to provide people with a lifetime of hearing solutions.

“Cochlear has invested over $2.5 billion in R&D since listing and continues to commit to investing around 12 percent of sales revenue in R&D.

“The commitment to innovation and product quality has always been driven by th highest regard for our customers’ welfare and he need to provide more people with better hearing solutions.”

Cochlear is best known for its bionic ear hearing implants which electrically stimulate the cochlear nerve. Bone conduction devices bypass the outer ear and middle ear and utilise direct sound conduction via the skull.

CEO Dig Howitt said: “We believe only Cochlear can provide Oticon Medical recipients with…lifetime care, supported by oir financial strength, scale, innovation capability and global reach.”

Further reading:

Picture: Oticon Medical/Neuro system

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