Diederik Schrijvershof and Ramesh Kaushik have written a blog for the Dutch online magazine Zorgvisie on the recent proposal of the Dutch minister for Health Welfare and Sports to further tighten healthcare merger assessments. In his recent letter to the Dutch Lower House, Minister De Jonge proposed the following:
- Healthcare providers that demonstrably have significant market power are not allowed to merge. An exception to this prohibition applies only in the case of a successful failing firm defence or an efficiency defence (which is rarely honoured by ACM).
- All healthcare providers (regardless of their size or the type of care they provide) on which an IGJ (Inspectorate for Youth and Healthcare) order has been imposed are not allowed to merge. This prohibition does not apply only if the healthcare providers in question successfully demonstrate that the merger is necessary to avoid insolvency.
The blog explains why there are some serious objections to the Minister’s proposal of both a principle and a practical nature.