The NMa has published new guidelines on the application of the competition rules in the healthcare sector to provide guidance to healthcare providers and health insurers on acceptable forms of cooperation.1 The guidelines are partly based on various European Commission guidelines, such as the guidelines on vertical restraints2, horizontal cooperation agreements3, the application of Article 101(3) TFEU (ex Article 81(3) EC) 4, the assessment of horizontal mergers5 and the assessment of non-horizontal mergers6.

The guidelines use practical examples to explain the application of the cartel prohibition, the prohibition on abuse of dominance and concentration control to the healthcare sector. The guidelines also provide an overview of the market delimitations used by the NMa in the healthcare sector and the cooperation between the NMa and the Healthcare Authority in the investigation of healthcare cases. Furthermore, a flow chart is included as a quick-reference for healthcare undertakings in their self-assessment of intended forms of cooperation.