The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upholds fines imposed by the Competition Commission to a Swiss toothpaste manufacturer and licensor and its Austrian distributor and licensee for prohibiting parallel imports from Austria to Switzerland (Gaba International)

Background and Court decision Back in 2009, the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) hit Gaba International AG – an undertaking part of the Colgate-Palmolive Group and manufacturer of the toothpaste brands Elmex and Meridol – with a CHF 4.8 mio (about EUR 3.9 mio) fine for restricting passive sales of its products to Swiss retailers and consumers by its Austrian licensee Gebro Pharma GmbH. [1] Indeed, until 2006 the license agreement between the two companies provided that Gebro could distribute the licensed products only in Austria and was not to export them to other countries, neither directly, nor indirectly. The contract was then amended in 2006 to allow passive sales while still forbidding active sales. However, Denner, a Swiss food retailers chain, had already filed a complaint

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Dominique Guex, The Swiss Federal Administrative Court upholds fines imposed by the Competition Commission to a Swiss toothpaste manufacturer and licensor and its Austrian distributor and licensee for prohibiting parallel imports from Austria to Switzerland (Gaba International), 19 December 2013, e-Competitions Bulletin Judicial review, Art. N° 64200

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