The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) decided not to impose fines it had previously imposed on seven home care institutions.
Home care providers in Dutch regions Kennemerland and ’t Gooi
Following two rulings by the District Court of Rotterdam, the NMa decided not to impose fines on home care providers Stichting Viva! Zorggroep and Stichting Zorgbalans, Stichting Thuiszorg Gooi en Vechtstreek, Stichting Vivium Zorggroep and Stichting Hilverzorg. The Court argued that the NMa insufficiently demonstrated that these home care institutions were actually able to compete with one another between 2005-2007. The Court was thus not convinced that any alleged agreements (to respect each other’s catchment areas) were actually capable of restricting competition. The Court did give the NMa the opportunity to launch a more detailed investigation. However, the NMa does not believe such an investigation would be useful, particularly considering the period that would have been investigated, which is 2006-2007.
Stichting Vierstroom and Stichting Careyn Zuwe Aveant
In a third case, the NMa also decided not to impose fines, having reconsidered the case. The two undertakings in question, Vierstroom and Careyn, filed objections with the NMa, which raised doubts about the NMa’s earlier interpretation of the agreement both home care providers had signed. As a result thereof, the NMa was no longer able to say with certainty whether these home care providers actually made arrangements aimed at eliminating mutual competition.
Awareness about competition increases in home care industry
The NMa has observed that more and more home care providers have become aware of competition and of the rules that come with it. This is a positive trend. The NMa therefore no longer considers the home care industry a focus industry.