CMA launches probe into proposed CS Healthcare/Bupa merger

The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an initial inquiry into the proposed merger of CS Healthcare and Bupa.

Earlier this month, the two organisations announced plans to transfer the friendly society’s 18,500 members and business to Bupa to ensure its long-term sustainability.

Like other small providers, CS Healthcare has been impacted by rising healthcare and administration costs along with the increased costs of regulatory compliance.

However, after concluding ‘invitations to comment’, the competition watchdog said it had decided to move to a Phase 1 investigation to determine whether the deal could substantially lessen competition in the market.

It is expected to announce its decision whether to refer to a potentially more lengthy Phase 2 investigation on 15 October.