Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Mega Test Service Company in the Works?

Rumors of a Quest-LabCorp merger abound now that the CEO of Quest has resigned.   Although highly competitive in the low-growth standardized testing area,  Quest was hurrying to add new specialty test products to its portfolio to boost profits. 

Clinical lab services is a market with two large players (in the US) but then a fairly broad range of little competitors.  Often in such a market scenario that would mean that a few of the smaller competitors will gain market share, enter the top positions and the market will evolve.  In lab testing, there is still a strong regional element.  And the growth is in specialty molecular tests and in situ hybridization tests that require special knowledge, which allows niche players to thrive.  This means there might be a broad group of competitors for some time. 

Thus even though Quest and LabCorp are the largest, they still may need to join up in order to manage the threat from the many competitors offering speciality solutions.