Antitrust authorities stop takeover of health device manufacturers

Antitrust authorities stop takeover of health device manufacturers
BWB General Director Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch
Image: Apa/Robert Jäger

The antitrust watchdogs have “significant competition concerns” and fear negative effects on hospitals, laboratories and medical practices that are supplied by both Miele and Belimed. It’s now the cartel court’s turn. The BWB applied for a ban there, as the authority announced on Monday.

“As a result, in the opinion of the BWB, the merger should be prohibited in its current form,” said the antitrust authority’s press release. The Federal Cartel Attorney also submitted an application for an in-depth examination by the Cartel Court. It is “our task to ensure that further restrictions on competition are prevented,” explained BWB General Director Natalie Harsdorf-Borsch.

High market shares in the healthcare sector

In addition to dishwashers and other household appliances, Miele also produces disinfectants and sterilizers for hospitals and doctor’s offices, as does Belimed. According to the BWB, “a considerable reduction in the intensity of horizontal competition is to be feared,” which would, among other things, result in higher prices for clinics and other customers. Miele and Belimed already have high market shares in the healthcare sector.

In mid-January, Miele Beteiligungs-GmbH registered with the BWB that it wanted to set up a joint venture with Schweizer Metall Zug AG. Miele Beteiligungs-GmbH is to bring in its indirect subsidiary International Steelco SpA and Metall Zug is to bring in its subsidiaries Belimed AG and Belimed Life Science AG. Miele will then hold 67 percent and Metall Zug 33 percent of the shares in the joint company.

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