CMA raises concerns of dental practices deal | National Deals News



The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns over the acquisition of a national operator of dental practices.

The regulator has carried out a Phase 1 investigation into the completed purchase of Dental Partners Group by Riviera Bidco, the owner of existing dental practice operator Rodericks Dental.

The investigation examined the potential impact of the merger in the areas where both businesses currently offer NHS or private dental treatments.

It found that, while sufficient competition would remain after the merger in most cases, merger would raise competition concerns in the provision of general NHS dental treatments, such as check-ups and fillings, in areas within Doncaster and Alfreton.

The CMA said the removal of Dental Partners as an independent competitor could lead to reduced choice for patients in these two areas, where the availability of NHS dental appointments is already limited.

Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the businesses accepted that the merger would raise concerns in these two areas and asked the CMA to move straight to a discussion of potential remedies to address these concerns.

Riviera now has five working days to formally offer proposals to the CMA to address the competition concerns identified. The regulator would then have a further five working days to consider whether to accept these in principle instead of referring the case to a Phase 2 investigation.

Sorcha O’Carroll, CMA senior director of mergers, said: “Residents in parts of Doncaster and Alfreton rely on accessing quality NHS dental treatment when it is needed – we’re looking at this deal to ensure this can continue.

“It’s now for the businesses involved to address our concerns, to prevent a loss of competition in these areas and resolve any need for further investigation.”

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