FCCA approves acquisition of Attendo by Terveystalo

On 14 December 2018, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved Terveystalo Healthcare Oy’s acquisition of Attendo Terveyspalvelut Oy. The FCCA has concluded that the acquisition will not significantly impede effective competition in the Finnish market.

Terveystalo is a nationwide healthcare service group that provides services to individuals, businesses, insurance companies and the public sector. Terveystalo Healthcare Oy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Terveystalo Oyj, the parent company of the Terveystalo Group. Attendo Terveyspalvelut Oy is part of the social and healthcare services group Attendo, the parent company of which has its domicile in Sweden. The healthcare services of Attendo Suomi consist mostly of human resources services, basic healthcare, occupational healthcare, oral healthcare and comprehensive outsourcing services provided to the public sector.

The FCCA initiated an in-depth investigation to assess the acquisition on 16 July 2018. Based on the FCCA’s preliminary investigation, the acquisition may have adverse effects on competition in the Finnish healthcare service market. In October 2018, the Market Court extended the time limit for the FCCA’s Phase II investigation until 14 December 2018. The extension was required due to the health and social services reform in Finland and the uncertainties related to the reform. As the health and social services reform will, upon its implementation, greatly change the Finnish health and social services market, the FCCA has assessed the effects of the acquisition both in the market situation preceding the reform and the freedom of choice market following the reform.

According to the FCCA’s investigation, although both parties to the acquisition operate in the healthcare service market, Attendo and Terveystalo provide different services for different customer groups in the market situation preceding the health and social services reform. Terveystalo is focused on providing occupational healthcare services for corporate customers through its extensive network of clinics. Terveystalo also has a strong position as a provider of specialist medical care services for the public sector. Attendo, in contrast, is specialised in providing primary healthcare services for the public sector. The companies have overlapping operations mainly in the market for the outsourcing of public sector health services. According to the FCCA’s investigation, however, Terveystalo’s operations have been minor, especially in extensive outsourcing cases, and it has only put limited competitive pressure on Attendo. Attendo’s main competitors in this market are market leader Pihlajalinna and Mehiläinen. According to the FCCA’s investigation, the acquisition will therefore not significantly impede effective competition in the outsourcing of public sector healthcare services.

In its assessment of the competition effects of the acquisition in the market after the health and social services reform, the FCCA could not base its investigation on the methods normally used for acquisitions and mergers between competitors, such as the examination of market shares and the proximity of competition between the parties, as the market does not yet exist. Instead, the FCCA’s assessment is based on a view of how competition will function in the freedom of choice market as well as the available information on where the different operators’ clinics may in future be located across Finland. The FCCA’s investigations do not indicate that the acquisition would significantly impede effective competition even in the freedom of choice market.

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Additional information:

  • Research Officer Pontus Ranta, tel. +358 (0)29 505 3747
  • Assistant Director Sanna Syrjälä, tel. +358 (0)29 505 3385

According to the Competition Act, the FCCA must be notified of a transaction if the combined turnover of the parties to the corporate transaction exceeds 350 million euros and the turnover from Finland of at least two of the parties exceeds 20 million euros for both. The FCCA will approve a corporate transaction if it has none of the harmful impacts referred to in the Competition Act. The FCCA will intervene in corporate transactions if its investigations suggest that the acquisition substantially impedes effective competition on Finnish markets or a substantial part of the markets, particularly through the creation or reinforcement of a dominant market position. Where necessary, notifications of acquisitions are considered in two stages. The so-called first stage takes a month at most. If the acquisition is clearly not harmful to competition, or if the harmful effects can be prevented by means proposed by the parties to the acquisition, the acquisition is approved during the first stage. If not, the FCCA decides to conduct a further investigation of the matter, during which the acquisition and its competition effects are investigated in further detail. Even then, the acquisition can be approved either as such or with conditions. If the commitments proposed by the parties are not sufficient conditions for the approval of the acquisition, the FCCA will propose that the Market Court prohibit the sale.