NMa to Investigate Hospital Merger in Gooi Region Further
After an initial investigation, the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) has concluded that the merger of Ziekenhuis Hilversum and Ziekenhuis Gooi-Noord, both of which hospitals are situated in the Gooi region, may result in the emergence of a dominant position. This may restrict competition. For this reason, NMa has notified both parties that a licence is required for the implementation of this merger. NMa wishes to carry out a more extensive investigation into the consequences of the proposed merger for the patients and insurers involved.
On the basis of actual travelling patterns of patients, NMa deems it plausible that both the market for general hospital care and the markets for various specialisms are not broader than the Gooi region. As a result of the merger, the parties will acquire a very high joint market share in this region, which possibly points to a dominant position. The consequence of this may be that due to the disappearance of incentives to compete, the hospitals will be driven less to differentiate, for instance, by means ofinnovation, service and quality. Patients and health insurers will be left with fewer options from which to choose.
If both hospitals actually decide to apply for a licence, NMa will carry out a more extensive investigation, for instance, into the competitive pressure which the hospitals in the Gooi region experience from other hospitals.