By Amna Karimi
(Reuters) - Britain's competition regulator said on Wednesday that Canadian cloud-based software firm Dye & Durham should sell UK-based TM Group after its investigation identified competition concerns.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said following an in-depth investigation it found Dye & Durham's acquisition of TM Group reduces competition in the supply of property search services in England and Wales.
"TM Group respects the decision made and will continue to fully cooperate with the CMA as we work with both them and Dye & Durham to identify a long-term investor," TM Group said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
In a separate statement Dye & Durham said it is evaluating the CMA's final report in detail and will consider its options and next steps.
"Dye & Durham strongly disagrees with the CMA's decision and continues to believe that the acquisition of TMG would be beneficial for the search report market and its customers," Dye & Durham added.
The watchdog served an initial enforcement order last September relating to Dye & Durham's acquisition of TM Group.
In May, the regulator concluded that the deal could result in homebuyers paying higher prices for property search services.
"The merger of two of the biggest players in this market would be bad news for anyone buying or selling property in England and Wales," Richard Feasey, chair of the independent CMA group conducting the inquiry, said.
Dye & Durham announced the acquisition of Wiltshire-headquartered TM Group for about $156 million in July 2021.
Shares in Dye & Durham were down 1% at C$18.64 ($14.49).
($1 = 1.2868 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Amna Karimi and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; editing by Shailesh Kuber, Jason Neely and David Evans)