Following the announcement of the Competition Authority (“AdC”) of 22 May, concerning the opening of an in-depth investigation phase, for the purpose of controlling concentrations of companies, for the acquisition by the HPA Saúde Group of Hospital São Gonçalo de Lagos ( "HSGL"), comes the HPA transmitting the following:
- the press release issued by AdC is absolutely typical in merger control processes, particularly at the beginning of the in-depth investigation phases, with the approach used by the aforementioned Authority being quite standard for this type of case;
- the in-depth investigation phases allow AdC, specifically, to have more time to study the concentration operations in question, when it believes that a more detailed study of them is necessary, which does not mean, in the present case, that the operation in question does not may come to be fully approved, as is the firm conviction of the HPA;
- The HPA will continue to collaborate actively and proactively with the AdC, as it has done so far, having even voluntarily submitted the notification of this operation when it did not have public data indicating that the mandatory notification thresholds to the AdC, as provided for in law, they were filled in this case;
- in addition, throughout the first phase of the process, the HPA provided the AdC with abundant information, showing the lack of impact on competition arising from the acquisition of HSGL, taking into account the dynamics of the health sector in Portugal, marked by clients with negotiating power, by the technical decisions of health professionals (oriented towards the well-being of patients) and by the effective and potential competition of other players, of greater or lesser dimension, thus not allowing such competitive dynamics, any reduction in the quality of services or impact on prices;
- finally, it is necessary to take into account that the acquisition of HSGL by the HPA has as its primary objective the revitalization of a health unit that was on the verge of exiting the market, providing a quality alternative for patients in the western Algarve, which , otherwise, if this operation did not exist, they would be totally deprived of a valid private health alternative in that territory.
24, May 2019