Healthcare MFA competition concerns scuttle Imprivata-Isosec deal
Negotiations by Imprivata to acquire Isosec have fallen through after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) expressed concerns that the move is likely to suffocate innovation and competition between the two health data and digital ID management and multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution providers in the UK.
Imprivata and Isosec are both secure digital identity authentication management solution providers for the National Health Service (NHS).
Digital Health News reports the CMA had signaled late last month that it was going to investigate the deal if both parties were ready to go ahead with it, saying the merger between the “important rivals” could “reduce choice and stifle innovation in authentication management solutions for accessing sensitive NHS data.”
Reacting to the CMA’s position on the planned acquisition, Gus Malezis, Imprivata CEO, expressed disappointment but said the company respects the regulatory body’s decision.
“Imprivata is disappointed in this outcome as we believe in the customer benefit of scaling our joint resources and technologies. However, we respect the authority of the CMA. Imprivata will continue to focus and invest in this area, to deliver value to its customers in this and related areas of digital identity, and the business will continue to operate as normal, as it has since the announcement of this proposed acquisition,” Malezis told Digital Health News.
Michael Latimer, Isosec CEO, said he was also disappointed but stated his company’s desire to focus on expanding its growth trajectory.
“Whilst we were disappointed by the decision of the CMA, we respect their role and authority here. For Isosec, we will continue to focus on our exciting strong growth trajectory, innovation and market leadership with virtual smartcards and IAM for the NHS. We now have more than 130 NHS customers, of which more than 100 use virtual smartcards today,” he told Digital Health.
Isosec’s virtual smartcards provide a choice of authentication methods, including biometrics, while Imprivata added palm scanning to the biometric options it provides with its PatientSecure solution late last year.
Imprivata acquired privacy intelligence firm FairWarning in 2020 to boost its healthcare digital ID solution.