ACM clears merger of Bergman Clinics and NL Healthcare Clinics
On 17 December 2018, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) announced that it has cleared the merger of Bergman Clinics and NL Healthcare Clinics.
This strengthens Bergman Clinics’ leading position in the Netherlands with clinics focussed on ophthalmology, orthopaedics, dermatology, plastic surgery and other specific forms of insured specialist medical care. The new organisation now has approximately 1,500 employees as a result of this merger. The group expects that in the coming years it will expand its existing clinics and open new clinics. The company also has the ambition to be an engine of innovation in the Dutch care landscape.
The merger takes place against the backdrop that Dutch people are more and more conscious in their choices, including when it comes to healthcare. For both patients and healthcare insurers, demonstrable quality of treatments, cost control, short waiting times and the service offered play an increasingly important role.
Healthcare insurers had objected to the merger, but after an extensive investigation the ACM concluded that the merger would not negatively affect the bargaining position between healthcare insurers and the clinics.
The Houthoff Competition Team, headed by partner Weyer VerLoren van Themaat, assisted Bergman Clinics and NL Healthcare Clinics in the merger request. This team previously successfully obtained the required permit for the merger of the university hospitals AMC and VUmc, which created the largest university medical centre in the Netherlands.