21 December 2013


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will not oppose the proposed acquisition of Life Technologies Corporation by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Competition concerns under section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) were resolved by Thermo Fisher's undertaking to sell its Australian cell culture business and comply with  commitments to the European Commission to sell its global HyClone cell culture and Dharmacon gene silencing businesses.

Thermo Fisher and Life Technologies operate globally in the life sciences sector, supplying products in the molecular biology, protein biology and cell culture markets.

The ACCC indicates that
In Australia, the merger parties’ customers are research institutions and biopharmaceutical companies.
“The ACCC considered that in the absence of the undertaking, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition for the supply of certain cell culture products, which are used to grow cells for academic research and vaccine production,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.
“Our market inquiries identified concerns about the strength of the merger parties in relation to foetal bovine serum (FBS). Life Technologies and Thermo Fisher are two of the three main suppliers of FBS to customers in Australia.”
The ACCC also considered that without the undertaking, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the supply of siRNA, a product which is used in the study of genes.
The ACCC will issue a public competition assessment, providing an explanation for its view on the proposed acquisition and the undertaking, in due course.