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Permobil Acquires Roho - What Does This Mean to Disabled People?

Benefit Competition Corporate Profits Disable People Permobil Roho

A Swedish power wheelchair manufacturer, Permobil, acquired Roho, an American wheelchair cushion manufacturer in March 2015.  First of all, congratulations to both parties.  Secondly, what might such a merger mean to people with disabilities?  On the positive side, Permobil, with its newly acquired knowledge and technologies, might improve its product offerings and make them more affordable for all.  On the negative side, Permobil might redesign either or both of its wheelchairs and wheelchair cushions to offer a "Permobil chair/cushion pairing" that beats the competition and increases its profits.  Even if corporate profits are the sole reasons behind the acquisition, an optimist may believe that Permobil will continue to develop seat cushions that work well with non-Permobil wheelchairs so that their pairings are just as good as those that will be offered by Permobil.  Let's all hope that this Permobil/Roho marriage benefits people with disabilities because we all know that corporate acquisitions occur primarily to benefit the people, not the corporations.


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