Friday, 10 August 2018 12:17

Thales takeover bid for Gemalto awaits competition regulator clearance

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Thales takeover bid for Gemalto awaits competition regulator clearance Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

New Zealand’s competition regulator The Commerce Commission is weighing up whether to approve the proposed acquisition of data encryption hardware and software provider Gemalto by the e-security division of Thales.

Thales, also a data encryption hardware and software supplier through its e-security division, is seeking clearance for the proposed acquisition from the Commission.

The Commission released a statement of issues on Friday, in response to Thales’ application for clearance, outlining the key competition issues it considers important in deciding whether or not to grant clearance for the proposed acquisition.

In New Zealand, Thales — like Gemalto a data encryption hardware and software supplier — typically supplies its products via resellers under the brand names nShield, payShield and Vormetric.

And Gemalto supplies data encryption software through resellers under the brand name SafeNet.

The Commission says in its statement of issues that it will test whether Thales’ market definitions for encryption key management products and for encryption software are appropriate or if it is more appropriate to assess narrower product markets.

It notes that, given the nature of the products, Thales considers that the relevant geographic market for its products is global.

“We will assess the extent to which the dynamics of competition differ in New Zealand compared to the rest of the world,” the Commission says.

The Commission is scheduled to make a decision on whether to give clearance for the proposed merger by 26 September, but has indicated it could extend the date if the issues identified have to be tested further.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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