December 12, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau
Today, the Competition Bureau came to an agreement with regard to TELUS Health's proposed acquisition of XD3 Solutions, to address certain competition issues in the Quebec market for pharmacy management solutions. TELUS Health and XD3 Solutions both offer pharmacy management solutions, including software, hardware and technical support to pharmacists in Quebec.
The Bureau's review found that certain of XD3 Solutions' and TELUS Health's contractual terms limit competition by restricting a pharmacist's ability to switch software providers. Specifically, these terms require a pharmacist to utilize TELUS Health's data transfer tool, obtain TELUS Health's consent prior to transferring data to a new supplier's platform, and pay an unspecified fee for such a data transfer.
The Bureau advised the parties of its concerns and TELUS Health worked cooperatively and constructively with the Bureau to address those concerns. In particular, TELUS Health has committed to amend certain of its contracting practices that limit competition, such that, for a period of 5 years, all of its contracts in Quebec will reflect the following terms:
- Pharmacists will not be required to obtain TELUS Health's consent prior to performing a data transfer;
- Pharmacists will not be obligated to use TELUS Health's data transfer tool;
- Depending on the pharmacy management platform being used either pharmacists will be able to provide their new supplier with access to the TELUS Health platform in order to extract the data or TELUS Health will, free of charge, provide the customer with a copy of its data; and
- A data transfer fee of up to a maximum of $2,500 may be charged, only in cases where a pharmacist requests TELUS Health's assistance with transferring data.
These changes are intended to make it easier for pharmacists to switch to another service provider, and ultimately ensure that new or existing pharmacy management solution providers are able to effectively compete in Quebec.
The proposed non-notifiable transaction was brought to the Bureau's attention via stakeholder complaints. Under the Competition Act, mergers of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy are subject to review by the Commissioner of Competition to determine whether they will likely reduce or limit competition.
- TELUS Health offers telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management products across Canada.
- Founded in 2005, XD3 Solutions is a provider of dispensary management software, currently serving 150 pharmacies in Quebec.
"This matter demonstrates once again the Bureau's commitment to protect competition and review mergers, regardless of their size. I am very satisfied that the parties worked effectively and cooperatively with the Bureau to resolve our concerns. This agreement will allow pharmacists in Quebec to benefit from competition when it comes to buying pharmacy management solutions."
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