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Two Dutch health care providers withdraw their merger license application

Two health care providers in the Dutch city of Arnhem, Pleyade Foundation and Catharina Foundation, have informed the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) that they have withdrawn their merger license application. The NMa was planning to announce today it would block the merger. Pleyade and Catharina are active players on the markets of nursing home care, psychogeriatric and somatic home care in the municipality of Arnhem and/or in the greater Arnhem area.

The NMa carried out an investigation, focusing on the imminent restriction of competition, which would have ultimately led to consumers having less choice. The two health care providers did put forward certain proposals (remedies) to counter the restriction of competition, but the NMa was not convinced that these remedies would actually eliminate the problems the NMa had identified. The Dutch Healthcare Authority has published an opinion of its own about this case, which is in line with the NMa's assessment.

Since 2004, the NMa has issued more than 100 decisions in health care merger cases. There have been 8 merger cases in which the merging parties themselves decided not to go through with their plans, after taking into consideration the NMa's objections to their plans. In addition, there have been 8 cases in which the concentration (including license application cases) eventually did go through, albeit in a modified form, after parties had proposed remedies to address objections the NMa had raised to their initial plans.