EC investigation found that the combination may lead to foreclosure of the companies' rivals in the EEA and the UK
Siemens has secured approval from the European Commission (EC) for the acquisition of cancer care technologies and solutions provider Varian Medical Systems.
The EU has approved the proposed acquisition of Varian by Siemens, through its subsidiary Siemens Healthineers.
In August last year, Siemens Healthineers agreed to acquire Varian in a deal valued at around $16.4bn.
Varian offers various advanced products for use in different applications, including radiosurgery, radiotherapy, proton therapy and brachytherapy. It also offers interventional solutions and software solutions.
According to the EC, the approval is conditional on full compliance with the commitments provided by Siemens to ensure the interoperability of the firms’ medical imaging and radiotherapy solutions with third-party solutions.
Siemens Healthineers is the major supplier of medical imaging solutions used to support the planning and delivery of radiotherapy, while Varian is the leading supplier of radiotherapy solutions used to plan and deliver radiotherapy treatment.
The EC stated the interoperability between imaging and radiotherapy solutions is crucial.
The investigation carried out by the Commission covered both the EEA and the UK as the deal was notified on 23 December last year, before the end of the transition period laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.
Specifically, the investigation found that the combination of Siemens Healthineers and Varian may lead to foreclosure of the companies’ rivals in the EEA and the UK.
According to the EC, the deal could result in the degradation of the interoperability between Siemens Healthineers’ imaging solutions and third-party radiotherapy solutions, as well as Varian’s radiotherapy solutions and third-party medical imaging solutions.
Siemens Healthineers has pledged to continue adhering to the de facto industry-wide interoperability standard (DICOM) to address the EC’s competition concerns.
European Commission competition policy in charge and executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said: Our decision will make sure that radiotherapy patients receive the best possible treatment by ensuring that the rivals of Siemens Healthineers and Varian will have all the information and help they need to make their products work smoothly with those of the parties and to continue innovating.
“With the interoperability commitments, the merger can go ahead whilst preserving competition and innovation in these markets.”