tmgroup acquisition could “lead to a reduction in competition”

tmgroup acquisition could “lead to a reduction in competition”

The Competition and Market’s Authority (CMA) has announced that Canadian group Dye & Durham must act to address concerns that the acquisition of tmgroup in July 2021 could result in “a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom.”

The acquisition of tmgroup followed a spate of activity in the property search market over the Summer which saw Dye & Durham complete on the acquisitions of GlobalX, Terrafirma and Future Climate, adding to its portfolio which includes poweredbypie, PSG, Index and York Place.

The CMA intervened when it saw the risk of reduced competition in the market, which following the tmgroup acquisition is now dominated by 3 major players, Landmark Information, Infotrack and Dye & Durham.

In its decision today the CMA has indicated given the evidence available “the Merger raises significant competition concerns as a result of horizontal unilateral effects in the supply of Property Search Report Bundles in England and Wales;” the impact of which could “lead to higher costs for conveyancers, estate agents and mortgage brokers, which could be passed on as higher fees for people and businesses buying or selling residential and commercial properties.”

Unless Dye & Durham address these concerns the merger will be subject to an in-depth “Phase 2” investigation by the CMA.

Commenting on the decision CMA Senior Director, Joel Bamford said:

“Our investigation has found that Dye & Durham’s purchase of TM Group could increase costs for people buying and selling their home.”

“Property searches are an essential part of the process of buying a home or property. By removing one of the few large, national companies offering this service, the deal could lead to higher fees for legal and real estate businesses, which would then be passed onto house-buyers and businesses.”

“Unless the merging businesses can offer suitable ways to address these issues, we will move to conduct a more in-depth investigation”

Dye & Durham have responded, saying they will “fully cooperate with the CMA and remain confident in the benefits the (acquisition of tmgroup) presents for D&D UK and for the property conveyancing market in the UK.”

Dye & Durham now have 5 days to provide a suitable response to address the CMA’s concerns. The “Phase 2” review will commence in the New Year and should conclude within 24 weeks if there is no progress.


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