European Commission gives green light to CSC acquisition of beleaguered iSoft

The European Commission (EC) has approved CSC's acquisition of healthcare software maker iSoft.

The European Commission (EC) has approved CSC's acquisition of healthcare software maker iSoft.

The acquisition of the troubled software company was announced earlier this year after iSoft suspended shares and put itself up for sale. Many believed the deal was necessary for CSC to preserve its contracts with the NHS, which have recently been slammed by the National Audit Office (NAO) as bad value for money.

Despite fears that the takeover would lead to a monopoly in the healthcare market, the EC said the proposed transaction will not restrict competing healthcare software providers' access to a sufficient customer base in the UK. "CSC further faces strong competitive constraints from alternative IT service providers such as BT which may partner with alternative healthcare software providers," it said.

The EC added that the proposed concentration would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area.

Department of Health CIO Christine Connelly said the CSC contracts were unworkable in their current form.

CSC recently revealed that the NHS has paid £200m to the company as an advance against contractual charges that were not due to be paid until the company's 2012 financial year.

In its annual filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), CSC disclosed that it has almost completed negotiations with the NHS over a £764m reduction in the value of its controversial £2.9bn deal to supply electronic patient record systems.

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