- Healthscope Limited pathology business in ACT / Southern Tablelands
SummarySonic Healthcare Limited proposed to acquire the pathology business of Healthscope Limited in the ACT and Southern Tablelands area.
On 16 May 2012, the ACCC commenced a review of Sonic's proposed acquisition of the pathology businesses of Healthscope in Queensland, Western Australia and NSW/ACT. On 17 September, Sonic announced that it no longer proposed to acquire Healthscope's pathology business in NSW/ACT, so the ACCC did not reach a decision on that proposed acquisition.
This review related to a new proposed acquisition, limited to the ACT and Southern Tablelands. In the previous review undertaken, the ACCC considered a number of relevant aspects of the pathology sector, including in the ACT and Southern Tablelands area. The ACCC therefore undertook targeted market inquiries only.
Market definitionThe ACCC considered the proposed acquisition in the context of the NSW / ACT market for the supply of community pathology services. In conducting its assessment, the ACCC noted that there are areas of closer competition on a narrower geographic basis and considered it appropriate to assess the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition primarily in the ACT / Southern Tablelands region, since pathology providers active elsewhere in the NSW / ACT market provide a much weaker competitive constraint on the region.
Competition analysisThe ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the market for the supply of community pathology services in the ACT / Southern Tablelands for the following reasons:
- Sonic will continue to be constrained by Primary and the public provider, ACT Pathology.
- ACT Pathology has a significant presence and has a policy always to bulk bill.
- There is the potential for Primary to expand its presence in the ACT if Sonic were to substantially increase price or reduce service levels.
- Healthscope does not appear likely to impose a strong competitive constraint in this area in the future absent the proposed acquisition.
|02/01/2013||ACCC commenced review under the Merger Review Process Guidelines.|
|31/01/2013||ACCC announced it would not oppose the proposed acquisition.|