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Saudi Arabia: Controlling competition behaviors in the health insurance market

The General Competition Authority is in the process of selecting a specialized consulting company with extensive experience in the field of economic studies to carry out a study on "the structure of the health insurance sector and the impact of the behavior of the establishments that operate in it about the competition. " The direction of the authority to carry out this study is to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030 and related national transformation programs, support economic development and promote principles of high transparency in the exchange of data and information in a clear and simple way for stakeholders. and the beneficiaries.

Memorandum of cooperation

The General Competition Authority and the Cooperative Health Insurance Council signed a memorandum of cooperation, according to which it was agreed to regulate the areas of cooperation between them to achieve common strategic objectives, improve the climate of fair competition, protect the insurance market from private health and improve the quality of health services by increasing the efficiency of private health insurance. The memorandum supports the Board's competence to oversee the implementation of the system and monitor rated insurance companies and approved service providers. And the cooperation between the two parties through integration and mutual coordination in the field of implementation of legal texts and regulations that improve the climate of competition in the sector and raise the level of well-being of the beneficiaries of health insurance, In addition to adopting programs to spread the culture of fair competition, introduce society and the business sector to competition and consumer protection rules, and cooperate with the competent authorities to develop solutions to address them. .

Protection of competition

The Competition Law aims to protect and promote fair competition and combat monopolistic practices that affect legitimate competition. It also seeks to achieve benefits both for the consumer and for the parties operating in the relevant markets, and the service of society as a whole. The development of the modern economy depends on the performance of market mechanisms, in the light of effective competition conditions that give companies the opportunity to freely exhibit their products (goods and services). The more establishments independently offer goods and services of different quality and price, the more opportunities are available for the consumer to determine the best option for him, which ultimately achieves luxury.

free market

The practice of economic activity under free market conditions is considered a form of competition between companies. This competition is sometimes hampered as a result of certain types of behaviors of the parties that operate in the market, hence the importance of having a system that controls the behavior of traders in the same, and this system must be available and be known by all the establishments that carry out an economic activity in the market, or intend to enter it in the future. To this end, competition law has emerged, which aims to promote fair competition and combat practices that affect legitimate competition.

Exchange of information

According to the General Competition Authority, the exchange of information between competitors based on an agreement between companies is a form of cooperation between competing companies in which they express their joint intention to adopt a certain market behavior, and for any agreement to be concluded, the will of at least two companies must converge, regardless of form or name. These intentions or their legal provision. These agreements can be verbal or written, signed or not, legally binding or non-legally binding, and can also take the form of an "honor agreement". The physical presence of the parties is not required to sign such agreements, as they can be reached through an exchange of letters or telephone calls. The main controversy regarding the evaluation of information exchange is that this exchange takes the form of a thematic or substantive content that is circulated between competing companies with the aim of limiting, restricting or harming competition between them. By reaching an agreement to exchange information between them, the companies express their common intention to adopt specific coordination behavior within the relevant market.

Behaviors prohibited by competition law

1 Pricing or any other commercial term. Divide markets 2. 3 Division of supply sources. 4 Restrict or control production. 5 Restrict or control trade. 6 Restrict or control technical development. 7 Restrict investment.
Prohibition of sharing strategic information between competitors
1) Prices (real prices, increases, discounts, discounts related to the achievement of objectives).
 2) customer lists.
 3) Production costs.
 4) Production quantities.
 5) Sales.
 6) Production capabilities.
 7) Quality.
 8) Marketing plans.
 9) Risks.
 10) Investments.
 11) Technical means.
 12) Research and development programs