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Declan McGlynn
3 May 2024, 11:34

UK Government shares initial findings from investigation into AlphaTheta’s Serato acquisition

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said the merger could “reduce innovation, choice, and access to DJ equipment and software”


The UK Government has shared the initial findings of its investigation into the ongoing proposed acquisition of Serato by Pioneer DJ’s parent company, AlphaTheta.

After “phase one” investigation, the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the deal, “if allowed, would create a supplier almost double the size of its nearest rival, consolidating the market and potentially impacting the price, quality, and innovation of DJ software.” It continued: “The CMA is concerned that the remaining (largely much smaller) suppliers would not provide strong enough competition to constrain AlphaTheta and Serato once combined.”

The CMA is a non-ministerial, independent government department that oversees potential mergers, sector regulation, and other aspects of business that might affect competition. Back in July 2023, AlphaTheta and Serato agreed to an acquisition, subject to an investigation and approval by various regulatory bodies, including the New Zealand Commerce Commission and the UK CMA. 

The news isn’t necessarily a death knell to the acquisition — competition authorities usually allow companies some retort, or to provide a list of solutions to their concerns. According to the CMA, both Pioneer DJ and Serato have five days to respond before they “move on to Phase 2” of the investigation. 

Speaking about the potential acquisition, Joel Bamford, Executive Director for Mergers at the CMA, said, “We’re also concerned it could negatively impact the hardware markets by allowing the combined business to leverage Serato’s leading software to harm its hardware competitors, ultimately affecting DJs and consumers.” 

You can read the CMS’s full statement here. Full details of the New Zealand Commerce Commission’s investigation can also be found here.

In January, AlphaTheta Corp announced that it was creating a new brand, called AlphaTheta, as well as releasing two new products under the name, the OMNIS-DUO and the WAVE-EIGHT.