The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published a new method of analysing product markets in merger investigations with respect to specialised medical care. In this context, the ACM requires merging hospitals and independent treatment centres to provide more detailed information in their merger notifications to the ACM.

The starting point for the ACM’s assessment of future mergers between specialised care providers will be “patient groups”, which are delineated based on the type of care demanded. The merging parties are required to provide information on the consequences of the envisioned merger for all patient groups. In particular, they must provide their market shares per patient group in the region(s) in which they operate, details of their five most important competitors and of the five most important health care insurers. In addition, other market parties (for example, health insurers) can expect more specific questions on the context of the ACM’s market investigation. These measures should provide the ACM with better insight into differences in the care offered by hospitals and independent treatment centres.

The ACM’s increased supervision of healthcare mergers follows recent studies which were critical of the effects hospital mergers on prices and quality of care.

A prior version of this post was originally published by the same author in Practical Law – Life Sciences, January 2018 Issue (Thomson Reuters).