News story: Tech merger may reduce options for people with communication needs

first_img These are vital technologies bought on behalf of vulnerable people by the NHS, charities and schools. We believe that the merger could stifle innovation and lead to less choice. We will launch a further in-depth investigation if the companies fail to address our concerns. Tobii and Smartbox design and supply technology to enable people with complex speech and language needs to communicate – known as augmentative and assistive communication solutions. These solutions include specialised hardware and software, such as speech generating devices, eye gaze cameras and language systems.The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that Tobii and Smartbox are leading suppliers in this sector and are each other’s main competitor. The CMA is concerned that the merged company would face little competition, which could lead to a reduced range of products being offered, higher prices and fewer new products being developed.Mike Walker, Chief Economic Advisor, said: Protecting vulnerable consumers is at the heart of the CMA’s Annual Plan, as reflected by its other recent work in areas such as funerals, care homes and online gambling.Tobii and Smartbox now have until 1 February 2019 to offer solutions to resolve the CMA’s concerns, otherwise the merger will be referred for a Phase 2 investigation.More information can be found on the Tobii / Smartbox case page.last_img read more

Commonwealth Youth Games to open in Samoa

first_imgPreparations for the week-long event have been praised by organisers, who also backed the Samoan government’s decision to deny entry for athletes from Sierra Leone.The delegation from Sierra Leone was denied entry visas over Ebola virus fears.Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, says it’s the responsibility of his government to put safety first for the up to 2,000 athletes participating in the Youth Games.Commonwealth Games Federation CEO David Grevemberg is confident Samoa will host a memorable Games with a lasting legacy.”From an event standpoint, there’s no question that there are infrastructure aspects of venues that have been enhanced – in terms of new stadia, the swimming pool and so forth – that will be used for world class competition. The fact that you’re going to have this realisation among Samoans that we can pull these types of events off, so I think people have a much much greater appreciation for Polynesian culture, Samoan culture but also the fact that Samoa’s going to be a fantastic world class host.”The 67 competing nations will be welcomed at tonight’s opening ceremony at Apia Park.Seven of the nine sports then begin competition on Monday.last_img read more