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ACM clears merger between Bergman Clinics and NL Healthcare Clinics

17-12-2018

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared the merger between health care providers Bergman Clinics and NL Healthcare Clinics. These providers are independent treatment centers, focusing on specialist medical care that is plannable and less complex, such as dermatology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. ACM has established that the merger will not have any negative effect on the options for consumers, because the activities of Bergman Clinics and NL Healthcare Clinics currently overlap in a couple of regions only. And in those regions where there is overlap, patients will, after the merger, continue to have sufficient choice. For the above-mentioned treatments, they could also go to hospitals. Health insurers will not see any changes in their ability to purchase health care for their clients at the best possible price-quality ratio.

Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of ACM, adds: “We have carried out an extensive investigation into the possible effects of this merger. We do not expect patients and insured to be worse off as a result of this merger. During the investigation, health insurers did raise objections against the merger. However, we have come to the conclusion that the merger will change little in the health insurers’ bargaining positions vis-à-vis the clinics.”

ACM’s merger control

ACM enforces fair competition between companies, and prevents the abuse of market power. When assessing mergers or acquisitions, ACM assesses in advance whether companies that wish to acquire or merge with another company do not gain too much market power. That is how ACM protects competition and consumers.