UK antitrust watchdog provisionally clears $1.58 billion UnitedHealth-EMIS deal

(Reuters) – Britain’s competition regulator said on Friday it has provisionally cleared UnitedHealth Group’s 1.24 billion pound ($1.58 billion) acquisition of healthcare technology firm EMIS.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it provisionally found no competition concerns in the deal betweenspecialist health care tech and software companies, which provide services to Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

Optum UK, part of U.S.-based UnitedHealth, unveiled an offer to acquire EMIS in June last year, to position the combined entity to provide better services to the NHS.

The CMA launched its initial merger enquiry in January and referred the deal to a deeper probe in March after rejecting UnitedHealth’s proposed remedy of divesting some businesses.

The regulator will now publicly consult on its provisional findings before reaching a final decision by Oct. 5, the companies said in a separate joint statement.

($1 = 0.7871 pounds)

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)