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The Bundeskartellamt has prohibited the merger between Klinikum Worms (555 beds) and Agaplesion Hochstift Krankenhaus (141 beds). With the merger, competition authorities decided that it would result in too strong a market position in the region for acute health care.

The only other provider of geriatrics and internal medicines in the area is St. Marienkrankenhaus of Lampertheim. Klinikum Worms, with the merger, would be too dominant in the region as a result.

The decision is not yet final though. The Bundeskartellamt has, since 2004, reviewed 170 mergers in the hospital sector. Of these mergers, very few are rejected. So far, only six mergers have been refused.

Commentary: With the current objections from the competition authorities, the institutions must continue to exist separately. How long this is the case for remains to be seen, with the financial difficulties facing Agaplesion Hochstift. According to its parent company, the future of the hospitals is reliant upon a merger with a larger municipal hospital. For Klinikum Worms, one of the five largest hospitals in Rheinland-Pfalz, the decision has little consequence.

The merger would be approved, providing the total turnover of the comapnies combined would not exceed EUR 500 million. In this instance, this figure is exceeded due to the subsidiary companies of Worms. Taking the two acute health care providers themselves, the turnover is well below the specified limit.

[ilink url=“http://www.bundeskartellamt.de/wDeutsch/aktuelles/presse/2012_09_06.php“] Link zur Quelle (Bundeskartellamt)[/ilink]