Brussels, 21st January 2010
Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of Varian by Agilent, subject to conditions
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Varian Inc by Agilent Technologies Inc, both of the US, by way of purchase of shares. The decision is conditional upon the divestment of Agilent's entire micro/portable gas chromatography instrument business and Varian's entire laboratory gas chromatography, triple quadrupole gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry instrument businesses. In view of the remedies proposed, the Commission has concluded that the operation would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said "In view of the remedies offered, I am satisfied that the merger of two major global players will not hinder effective competition in the analytical instruments field and that consumers in the EEA will therefore not be harmed. "
Both Agilent and Varian are active in the design, development, manufacture and sale of bio-analytical measurement products, including analytical and life science instruments as well as associated services, consumables and software.
The activities of the parties overlap in relation to a number of sectors within the analytical instrumentation and consumables areas in the EEA. The Commission identified competition concerns in relation to each of the Laboratory Gas Chromatography (Lab GC), micro/portable Gas chromatography, triple quadrupole Gas chromatography-mass Spectrometry instruments (triple quad GC-MS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma-mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) instrument markets in the EEA. These instruments are used to detect and quantify molecular and atomic components in a given sample.
The proposed transaction would bring together close competitors in the EEA Lab GC, micro/portable GC and ICP-MS instrument markets. Through the proposed transaction, the combined entity would have significant market shares.
As regards the EEA triple quad GC-MS instrument market, the proposed transaction would result in the elimination of an important competitive force in the market. Varian already holds large market shares on the EEA triple quad GC-MS market and, although a recent entrant, Agilent has also swiftly gained a significant influence and competes closely with Varian on this market.
To remedy the concerns raised by the Commission in relation to each of these markets, Agilent and Varian have made the commitment to divest Agilent's entire global micro/portable GC instrument business, as well as Varian's entire global Lab GC, triple quad GC-MS and ICP-MS instrument businesses.
After market testing the proposed commitments, the Commission concluded that they would remove the competition concerns identified and ensure that effective competition would not be impeded as a result of the proposed transaction.
Further information on the case will be available at: