In the Dutch health care market, many mergers take place, and collaborations are forged. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) carries out assessments of mergers and collaborations for any possible anticompetitive effects under the Dutch Competition Act. In these assessments, ACM pays particular attention to the effects on consumers, which are patients and insured. The guidelines below offer hospitals and other health care organizations more certainty about what they can expect from ACM when merging or collaborating. In these guidelines, ACM’s role is discussed, but also the roles of other parties that are involved in this process.
To ACM, consumers are central. That is why the opinions of patient organizations and health insurers play an important role. Next to any potentially anticompetitive effects, ACM also looks into the benefits that a merger or collaboration might have to consumers. In that context, collaborations are not subject to stricter rules by ACM than are mergers. ACM takes action if adverse effects for consumers could arise.