AdC opens in-depth investigation into the Grupo HPA Saúde / Hospital São Gonçalo de Lagos merger

Press Release 08/2019
 
AdC opens in-depth investigation into the Grupo HPA Saúde / Hospital São Gonçalo de Lagos merger
 
 
The AdC (Autoridade da Concorrência – Portuguese Competition Authority) has decided to proceed to an in-depth investigation into the merger involving the acquisition of Hospital São Gonçalo de Lagos (HSGL) by Grupo Hospital Particular do Algarve (HPA Group).

The decision to proceed to an in-depth investigation is grounded in the fact that, based on the evidence gathered so far, there are indications that the acquisition of HSGL by the HPA Group may give rise to significant impediments to effective competition in the affected markets, both in terms of the provision of medical services in private hospitals in the Algarve, and in the provision of medical consultations in the areas of influence of the clinics operated by HSGL.

The merger in case has already been implemented in late 2017, and was notified by HPA Group on the 9th of November 2018, following an inquiry proceeding by the AdC.

HSGL is a private hospital located in Lagos, in the Algarve, which provides medical services across different specialities. At the moment of its acquisition, HSGL also operated a network of 3 clinics located in the Algarve and costal Alentejo region, which provided medical consultations.

The merger will strengthen the leading position held by the HPA Group in the market for the provision of medical services in private hospitals in the Algarve region.
 

Upon the closing of the in-depth investigation, the AdC may:
  • Adopt a non-opposition decision, if it considers that the merger, as notified, or following modifications by the HPA Group (through remedies), is not likely to create significant impediments to competition in the relevant markets; or
  • Adopt a prohibition decision, if it considers that the merger is likely to create significant impediments to effective competition in the relevant markets, thus generating damages to users of private hospital healthcare units in the Algarve region, as well as of medical consultations in the areas of influence of HSGL clinics. In this scenario, and insofar as the concentration has been implemented, the HPA Group must take the necessary measures to reverse the operation.

This investigation is carried out in the context of merger control proceedings and is therefore not related to the recent dawn raids in the health care sector, confirmed by the AdC.
 
 Lisbon, 22 May 2019