Parallel trade in pharma

Anticompetitive practices

The Slovak Competition Authority publishes a working draft of its standpoint on vertical restraints outlining its views on vertical competition issues
Diwok Hermann Petsche (Baker McKenzie Vienna)
Introduction The Competition Authority of Slovakia ("SCA") published on 4 February 2015 a working draft of the Standpoint on Vertical Agreements ("Standpoint") and invited the relevant public to discuss the main ideas outlined in the Standpoint. The Standpoint has been published in the (...)

The Court of Justice of the European Union answers a request for a preliminary ruling about use trademarks to prevent the importation of spare parts (Honda)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 17 July 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) answered a request for a preliminary ruling from a Greek Court (Monomeles Protodikeio Athinon) inquiring as to whether the use by Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (“Honda”) of its trademarks to prevent the importation of Honda (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor settles charges on a violation of cartel law by imposing of resale price maintenance, prevention of parallel imports and passive sales (Witt Hvidevarer)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Press Release published on the official website of the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority. Denmark: ”Distributor of white goods pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance and prevention of parallel imports and passive sales”* On 10 July, 2014, the company Witt Hvidevarer (a (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor settles charges of of resale price maintenance to some of the company’s dealers and the prevention of parallel imports and passive sales (Witt Hvidevarer)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Denmark: ”Distributor of white goods pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance and prevention of parallel imports and passive sales”* On 10 July, 2014, the company Witt Hvidevarer (a Danish distributor of white goods) entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeals totally annuls a fine imposed by the Hellenic Competition Commission based on mitigating factors (Unilever Hellas)
Gerakini Legal Studio
On June 2014, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeals issued decision number 3807/2014 annulling a fine imposed by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) on Unilever Hellas for engaging in conduct to restrict parallel imports. Brief History In short, the HCC, in the context of an ex (...)

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)
Bourgeois Avocats
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 (...)

The Lithuanian Competition Council closes an investigation and accepts remedies on vertical restraints implemented by several pharmaceutical undertakings and gives a recommendation to the Ministry of Health on ways to promote parallel imports of pharmaceuticals
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition (Munchen)
On 21 July 2011 the Competition Council terminated the investigation on compliance of actions of several pharmaceutical undertakings with Article 5 of the Law on Competition and Article 101 TFEU by accepting commitments (Article 30(2) point 2 [now Article 28(3) point 2] of the Law on (...)

The Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal confirms decision concerning refusal of supply and restrictions to parallel trade within the railway engine spare part sector (Deutz)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 9 December 2013, Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal (“DCAT”) confirmed the decision of the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) of 12 June 2013, in which the German manufacture of industrial engines Deutz AG (“Deutz”) and their exclusive dealer in Scandinavia, Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (“Diesel Motor (...)

The European Commission initiates a formal investigation into potentially anti-competitive restrictions in pay-TV licensing arrangements
Blackstone Chambers
Murphy, round 2: does exclusive territorial licensing of pay-TV breach EU competition law?* According to a report in the Financial Times on 24 November 2013, the European Commission is on the verge of commencing a formal investigation into potentially anti-competitive restrictions in pay-TV (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority announces that a white goods manufacturer has accepted to pay a fine of € 161,000 for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented parallel imports (Miele)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 25 July 2013, the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (“DCCA”) announced that the white goods manufacturer Miele A/S has accepted to pay a fine of DKK 1.2 million (around € 161,000) for having entered into illegal price maintenance agreements with its dealers and for having prevented (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime settles with a cartel participant, major player in the market for white goods (Miele)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
Miele A/S, Denmark, pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance and prevention of parallel imports on white goods* On July 18, 2013, Miele A/S, Denmark, entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for infringing section 6 of (...)

The French Competition Authority carries out an inquiry in the area of prescription medicine distribution in private practices
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence is submitting to public consultation an initial assessment in which it has identified several potential sticking points* Medicinal products are the second-largest (...)

The Court of Appeal of Paris faces the difficult adequacy between efficiency of private enforcement and the principles of the French Civil Trial (JCB v. Central Parts)
Fieldfisher (Paris)
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Ecole de formation du Barreau (EFB)
In its decision dated 26 June 2013, the Court of Appeal of Paris considered that only the harm suffered because of anticompetitive practices implemented for a period of 10 years before they stopped could be compensated. By taking this ruling, it strictly applied the French procedural rules for (...)

The Danish Competition Council finds refusal to supply and restrictions to parallel trade in railway spare parts sector (Deutz, Diesel Motor Nordic)
European Commission
Denmark: The Competition Council finds Refusal to Supply and Restrictions to Parallel Trade in Railway Spare Parts Sector* On 12 June 2013, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) ruled that Deutz AG (Deutz) and Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (Diesel Motor Nordic) have infringed the Danish and European (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime settles in a case of resale price maintenance in relation to dealers and the prevention of parallel imports (Bosch / Siemens)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
BSH pays fine in settlement for resale price maintenance and prevention of parallel imports on white goods* On April 24, 2013, BSH White Goods entered into a settlement with the Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for infringing section 6 of the Danish (...)

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime enters into a settlement with a white goods manufacturer in a resale price maintenance case (Witt Hvidevarer)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 24 April 2013, BSH Hvidevarer A/S (Danish subsidiary of the international home appliances manufacturer, BSH) entered into a settlement with the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime for infringing section 6 of the Danish Competition Act by imposing resale price (...)

The Irish Competition Authority issues an enforcement decision concerning previously established commitments to cease the anticompetitive practices on the retail market for body sportwear (FitFlops)
Irish Competition Authority
Competition Authority reminder to businesses: resale price maintenance is against the law The Competition Authority advises businesses to be aware that resale price maintenance is against the law and that it will take enforcement action against anyone engaging in the practice. The advice is (...)

The Spanish National Court annuls CNC Decision closing pharmaceutical dual pricing case (European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis)
Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Madrid)
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Cuatrecasas, Goncalves Pereira (Barcelone)
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Allen & Overy (Madrid)
On December 5, 2012, the Spanish National Court (Audiencia Nacional or “AN”) annulled the decision of the Spanish Competition Commission (formerly called Comisión Nacional de la Competencia or “CNC”), to close file S/0017/07. The AN considered that the CNC should have further investigated whether (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines body representing audiovisual media device producers for restricting parallel imports (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Phononet)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a decision of 16 July 2012, the Competition Authority of Switzerland (“COMCO”) levied a fine of CHF3.5 million (around € 3 million) on the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (“IFPI Switzerland”), as well as a fine of CHF20,000 (around € 16,000) on Phononet AG (“Phononet”), (...)

The UK Supreme Court rejects the respondent’s arguments that enforcement of the plaintiff’s trade marks could lead to infringements of EU law (Oracle America / M-Tech Data)
Blackstone Chambers
Supreme Court puts brake on “Euro defences”* The UK Supreme Court has given trade mark proprietors reason to celebrate, in a judgment which is likely to have important consequences for the success of “Euro defences” more broadly. See: Oracle America Inc (formerly Sun Microsystems Inc) v M-Tech (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines car manufacturer for preventing parallel imports by prohibiting its authorised dealers within the EEA from selling new cars to customers located in Switzerland (BMW)
Kobel Attorney
Introduction On May 7, 2012, the Swiss Competition Commission made the most striking of a series of decisions regarding vertical restraints leading to the condemnation of BMW to the payment of a fine of CHF 156’868’150, that is approximately € 130’000’000. The case is about the refusal by BMW (...)

The Swiss Competition Authority fines a manufacturer € 10 million for restricting parallel imports of imaging products (Nikon)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 15 December 2011, the Swiss Competition Authority (COMCO / WEKO) imposed a fine of 12.5 million Swiss Francs (around € 10 million) on the Swiss subsidiary of Japan-based company Nikon on the grounds that it had restricted parallel imports of Nikon Imaging products. Following receipt of (...)

The Swiss Competition Commission fines leading camera manufacturer a total of 12.5 million CHF because of the restrictions on parallel imports of the company’s imaging products (Nikon)
Agon Partners (Zurich)
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University of Zurich
I. Summary The Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) fines Nikon AG a total of 12.5 million CHF because of restrictions on parallel imports of Nikon imaging products. II. Case 1. Parties Nikon AG, Switzerland («Defendant«). The Nikon Group organizes its sales in Europe through its own offices (...)

The Romanian Competition Council fines two suppliers of prescription-only medicines and their distributors for parallel export restrictions (Baxter / Belupo)
Peli Filip
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Peli Filip
On 28 October 2011, the Romanian Competition Council (the “Council”) published Decisions n° 51 and 52/28.10.2011 sanctioning two suppliers of prescription-only medicines - Belupo Iijekovi & kozmetica d.d. Croatia (“Belupo”) and Baxter AG Switzerland (“Baxter”) - and their distributors on the (...)

The Spanish National Court applies the ECJ "dual pricing" ruling to quash a decision by the Spanish Competition Commission concerning prices imposed to wholesalers by pharmaceutical company (Pfizer)
CMS Albinana y Suarez de Lezo (Madrid)
The Spanish National Court has applied the landmark ECJ dual pricing ruling to quash a decision by the Spanish Competition Commission dismissing a complaint against Pfizer’s pricing policy for pharmaceutical products. On 13 June 2011, the Spanish National Court («Audiencia Nacional« or «the (...)

The Latvian Competition Council concludes its sector inquiry finding that existing regulation impedes price competition in medicine market
Competition Council of Latvia
Existing Regulation impedes Price Competition in Medicine Market On 1 February 2011, the Competition Council of Latvia (CC) published its conclusions of the Sector Inquiry into the pricing system in medicine market in Latvia. In its report, the CC draws attention to the existing problems in (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission implements the decision of the Athens Court of Appeal that a fine should be calculated separately for infringements of Art. 101 and 102 of the TFEU (Nestlé)
OECD - Competition Division (Paris)
On 14 December 2010 the Hellenic Competition Commission (“HCC”) published a decision providing details on a fine imposed on NestléGreece (“Nestlé”), clarifying that about €22 million were due for abuse of dominant position and about €7.5 million were due for agreements restricting competition. 1. (...)

The Danish Competition Authority adopts decision without fines concerning resale price maintenance and restrictions of parallel trade in electrical appliances sector (Witt Hvidevarer)
Van Bael & Bellis
In a decision adopted on 24 November 2010, the Danish Competition Authority found that Witt Hvidevarer A/S (“Witt”), a Danish importer and wholesaler of robotic vacuum cleaners and floor washers manufactured by the American company iRobot, had engaged in anticompetitive practices over a period of (...)

The ECJ confirms Commission must assess whether an agreement to limit parallel trade in medicines has pro-competitive benefits (GlaxoSmithKline)
Linklaters (Paris)
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Linklaters (London)
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French Competition Authority
On 6 October, the European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) issued another “score draw” judgment in the long-running battle of R&D-based pharmaceutical companies to limit parallel trade in medicines across the EU. While the ECJ required the European Commission to conduct an in-depth examination of (...)

The UK Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal and proceed to a full trial on defence against trademark infringement allegations (Oracle / M-Tech)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
English Court of Appeal allows M-Tech’s appeal against Oracle* On 28 August 2010, the English Court of Appeal issued a judgment setting aside an order for summary judgment by the High Court of Justice, thus granting M-Tech permission to appeal and proceed to a full trial to defend itself (...)

The European Court of Justice reverses the Commission decision regarding the legality of dual pricing arrangments between leading pharmaceutical undertaking and Spanish wholesalers (GlaxoSmithKline)
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (Brussels)
On 6 October 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its judgment in the long-running wrangle regarding the legality of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) dual pricing arrangements with Spanish pharmaceutical wholesalers. As a result of the judgment, the European Commission (Commission) will have (...)

The European Court of First Instance reduces the fines imposed by the European Commission against leading Japanese video games manufacturer (Nintendo)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The judgments in the Nintendo case"* I. Introduction This article concerns the Commission Decision against Nintendo and seven of its distributors and, in particular, the judgments handed down on 30 April 2009 by the Court of First Instance (CFI) in the appeals against that Decision by (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission imposes over € 1 M fines on a detergents manufacturer and six supermarkets for infringement of Art. 81 EC and its domestic equivalent (Unilever)
University of East Anglia - CCP
The HCC decision concerns vertical agreements entered into by Unilever Hellas with eight Greek supermarket chains, preventing them from buying Unilever products from a third party in the period 2000-2002. In effect, this banned parallel imports of those products, preventing competition between (...)

The Croatian Competition Authority establishes the existence of anticompetitive practices on the market for servicing of motor vehicles (Adria Lada)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 24 September 2009 the Croatian Competition Authority (Agencija za zastitu trzisnog natjecanja) (AZTN) concluded its investigation on the market for distribution and servicing of motor vehicles, more specifically - the servicing agreements concluded by the exclusive distributor of Lada (...)

The ECJ Advocate General Sharpston issues opinion on the repackaging of parallel-traded pharmaceuticals (The Wellcome Foundation)
Van Bael & Bellis
On 9 October 2008, Advocate General Sharpston issued her opinion in Case C-276/05 (The Wellcome Foundation Ltdv Paranova Pharmazeutika Handels), a preliminary reference to the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) from the Austrian Supreme Court. These proceedings add yet another episode to the (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority declares that five pharmaceutical companies are not coordinating their distribution systems in Spain (Laboratorios Farmacéuticos)
European Court of Justice
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Garrigues
During the last two years, a number of important pharmaceutical manufacturers active in the Spanish market have introduced significant changes in their distribution systems. Under the new terms of these systems, the pharmaceutical companies select a reduced number of wholesalers to work with, (...)

The Belgian Prosecutor refuses request for preliminary measures in pharmaceutical “refusal to supply” case (Bofar)
Altius (Brussels)
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Johnson & Johnson (Brussels)
Decision On 26 March 2008, the Belgian Prosecutor refused a request for preliminary measures made by Bofar NV (‘Bofar’). In December 2007, Bofar had filed a complaint against nine pharmaceutical companies for infringing Articles 81 and 82 EC Treaty and their Belgian equivalents, Articles 2 and 3 (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions a chocolate manufacturer for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing (Léonidas)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Chocolate distribution: The Conseil de la concurrence penalizes Léonidas to €120, 000 for preventing distribution retailers from stocking up from the supplier of their choosing.* Following a referral by the (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments proposed by four pharmaceutical laboratories making the medicine quota system he more flexible for wholesale distributors (Boehringer-Ingelheim & Sanofi-Avantis)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Distribution of medicines: The Conseil accepts the commitments proposed by four pharmaceutical laboratories making the medicine quota system more flexible for wholesale distributors.* History of the case (...)

The French Competition Authority accepts the commitments taken by 10 companies of the cosmetic industry to introduce more competition into online sale of their products (Bioderma & Rogé Cavaillès)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Conseil de la concurrence facilitates online sale of cosmetic products: 10 companies of the cosmetic industry committed to introduce more competition into online sale of their products.* The Conseil de la (...)

The French Competition Authority sanctions 22 companies for having entered into an agreement on the sector of cycle and cycle products distribution (Master Cycle, Bouticycles)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Cycle and cycle products distribution: The Conseil de la concurrence imposes fine of 580 000 euros on a national scale agreement involving 22 companies.* Following a referral by the Minister of Economy on (...)

The French Competition Council authorises pharmaceutical laboratories’ practices concerning drugs parallell imports and exports on the basis of both French and EC provisions (Pharma-Lab / GlaxoSmithKline)
Gide Loyrette Nouel (Paris)
Pharma-Lab, Pharmajet, Pharmadex TMC, European Trade Company (ETC) and AD Pharm export drugs bought at the government-fixed price from pharmaceutical laboratories and sell them abroad for a higher price. These companies claimed to suffer from delivery restrictions, discriminatory commercial (...)

The European Commission fines a motor vehicle manufacturer for infringement to Article 81EC in a parallel import case (Peugeot)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Parallel import of motor vehicles: the Peugeot case"* The Peugeot decision, adopted by the Commission on 5 October 2005, imposed a fine of 49.4 million euros for breach of Article 81 EC on the motor vehicle manufacturer Automobiles Peugeot SA (‘Peugeot‘), and its subsidiary Peugeot Nederland (...)

The Belgium Commercial Court assesses the validity of an alleged anticompetitive car distribution agreement on the basis of Art. 81 EC and the EC block exemption regulation (Daimler-Chrysler)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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European Chemicals Agency
The Belgian Commercial Court examined whether certain practices by the defendants infringed Article 81 EC, and in particular whether such practices could benefit from the provisions contained in the applicable EC block exemption regulation relating to the application of Article 81(3) EC to (...)

The Paris Court of appeal widens the possibilities for car manufacturers to fight against illegal parallel imports (Peugeot-SPEA-CNPA)
Lni avocats (Paris)
In April and August 1995, a European Automobile Association, the Syndicat des professionnels européens de l’automobile (SPEA), had referred a matter to the French Competition Council regarding practices implemented in the automobile distribution sector by two major French car manufacturers (...)

The Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal annuls a decision of the NCA on fixed books prices for reimport of Danish books on the basis of Art. 81 EC after full assessment of ECJ and EC Commission’s case law on trade between Member States (Book Publisher)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
On 18 August 2004, the Danish Competition Appeal Tribunal annulled the decision of 24 September 2003 whereby the Danish Competition Council found that the Danish Book Association (“The association of Danish book publishers “) had infringed Article 81 when it prevented booksellers in other (...)

The European Commission fines a producer of collectible products and confectionery popular with young children for preventing parallel imports of stickers and game cards (Topps, Pokemon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission imposes fine on Topps for preventing parallel imports of Pokémon stickers and cards"* 1. Introduction On 26 May 2004, the Commission adopted a decision finding that The Topps Company Inc and its European subsidiaries, Topps Europe Ltd, Topps International Ltd, Topps UK Ltd and (...)

The European Commission fines game consoles manufacturer and seven of its European distributors for colluding to prevent parallel trade (Nintendo)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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European Commission - DG MARE
"Commission fines Nintendo and seven of its European distributors for colluding to prevent parallel trade in Nintendo products"* 1. Introduction The Commission Decision commented here concerns the distribution of Nintendo manufactured game consoles (the NES and SNES static consoles, that were (...)

The US FTC publishes a report on generic drug entry prior to patent expiration raising issues on patent-shortening settlement agreements
White & Case (Washington)
The Federal Trade Commission’s recent report, Generic Drug Entry Prior to Patent Expiration (Federal Trade Commission, Generic Drug Entry Prior to Patent Expiration: An FTC Study, July 2002, ("FTC Report")), raises a number of competition issues that merit further discussion and research. This (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine of € 71.825 M against German car manufacturer for three types of infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty (DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes)
European Commission (DG NEAR)
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European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The fourth prohibition decision in the area of car distribution in four years: This time it’s Mercedes’ turn"* Introduction The Commission decided on 10 October 2001 to impose a fine of EUR 71.825 million on DaimlerChrysler AG for three types of infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty in (...)

The European Commission prohibits a leading pharmaceuticals company’s Spanish pricing system (Glaxo Wellcome)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission Decision prohibits Glaxo Wellcome’s Spanish pricing system"* 1. Introduction On 8 May 2001 the Commission decided to prohibit the dual pricing system which Glaxo Wellcome (GW) had introduced for all its pharmaceutical products in Spain. According to GW’s new sales conditions Spanish (...)

The European Commission imposes a fine on Dutch car manufacturers for obstruction of exports of new cars from the Netherlands (Opel Nederland, General Motors Nederland)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Commission Decision of 20 September 2000 imposing a fine on Opel Nederland and General Motors Nederland for obstruction of exports of new cars from the Netherlands"* 1. Introduction The Commission imposed a fine of € 43 million on Opel Nederland B.V., the Dutch importer of cars of the Opel (...)

The European Commission ends its action against a motorcycle manufacturer after it stopped prohibiting its Benelux dealers selling to UK customers (Triumph)
European Commission - DG RTD
"Triumph’s export ban for motorcycles brought to an end upon Commission’s intervention"* The European Commission has decided to end its action against the motorcycle manufacturer Triumph after the company stopped prohibiting its Benelux dealers selling to UK customers. Triumph is a manufacturer (...)

The European Commission adopts a negative decision under article 85(1) EC Treaty in a case regarding restraints on parallel trade between Member States (BASF Lacke + Farben)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Agreement preventing parallel trade"* In line with its well-established policy of vigorously combatting agreements or practices which artificially divide the common market and thereby prejudice the basic aims of the European Union, the Commission adopted on 12 July 1995 a negative decision (...)

The European Commission approves a set of standard agreements notified by a Japanese electronics products manufacturer intended to create selective distribution system throughout Europe (Sony Pan-European Distribution Agreement)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Selective distribution"* On 19 February 1993 Sony notified the “Sony Pan European Dealer Agreement” (PEDA) consisting of a set of standard agreements intended to create a selective distribution system throughout Europe for its consumer electronics products. The products covered by the PEDA are (...)

The European Commission adopts a new regulation on motor vehicle distribution
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"The New Regulation on Motor Vehicle Distribution"* The new Commission Regulation (EC) No 1475/95(OJ L 145 of 29.6.1995, p.25) on the application of Article 85 (3) of the Treaty to certain categories of motor vehicle distribution and servicing agreements has become applicable from 1 October (...)

The European Commission considers that the new pricing regime imposed by a pharmaceutical company for contraceptive pills is contrary to article 85 EC Treaty (Organon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
"Parallel imports of pharmaceutical products : Organon"* ORGANON is a British subsidiary of AKZO (Netherlands) which specializes in the manufacture and marketing of contraceptive pills. On 4 Mai 1994, ORGANON changed the price regime applicable to MERCILON and MARVELON, the latter being one (...)

Dominance

The French Competition Authority fines a supplier of rolled zinc for abuse of dominance (UMICORE)
French Competition Authority
The Autorité de la concurrence fines UMICORE, one of the global leaders in zinc, €69 million for abuse of dominant position towards its competitors by practicing during 9 years a trade policy aiming at constraining its distributors to supply themselves exclusively from the company.* In brief (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority rules on parallel trade of pharmaceuticals products and its limitations (Sopharma)
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski
Restrictions of Parallel Trade in Pharmaceuticals – Carte Blanche from the Bulgarian Competition Authority?* The Bulgarian Competition Protection Commission (“CPC” or “Commission”) has recently issued an important decision regarding the parallel trade of pharmaceuticals and the possibilities for (...)

The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports a German engine manufacturer and its local distributor for preventing the supply of spare parts for IC3-trains (Deutz)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports the German engine manufacturer Deutz AG and the company’s distributor in Denmark to the police* Following a ruling from the Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal, The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority reports the German engine (...)

The Danish Competition Council issues an order to stop refusal of supply and restrictions to parallel trade within the railway engine spare part sector (Deutz)
Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (Copenhagen)
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Horten Law Firm
On 12 June 2013, the Danish Competition Council (“DCC”) held that the German manufacture of industrial engines Deutz AG (“Deutz”) and their exclusive dealer in Scandinavia, Diesel Motor Nordic A/S (“Diesel Motor Nordic”), had infringed Danish and European competition law (section 6 and 11 of the (...)

The Romanian Competition Authority follows case law precedent and finds no abuse of dominance on the pharmaceuticals distribution market (Roche)
University of Technology (Tallinn)
On 8 May 2013 the Romanian Competition Authority (CC) concluded its investigation into the alleged abuse of dominant position in the pharmaceuticals wholesale market. Finding no evidence that would demonstrate that the manufacturer attempted to prevent the re-importation of its products into (...)

The European Commission publishes a green paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain
RBB Economics (Brussels)
Entering uncharted territory: the Commission’s thinking on territorial supply constraints* On 31 January 2013, the European Commission (DG Internal Market) published a Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain in Europe. One of the issues (...)

The ECJ dismisses pharmaceutical company’s appeal against Commission and EU General Court’s findings that it abused its dominant position by misusing patent systems and pharmaceutical marketing procedures in order to exclude generic competitors from the market and to restrict parallel imports (AstraZeneca)
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
1. Introduction The Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) has dismissed AstraZeneca’s appeal against the Commission’s and General Court’s findings that the company abused its dominant position under Article 102 TFEU by misusing the patent system and pharmaceutical marketing procedures in order to (...)

The Lithuanian Court of first instance upholds Competition Authority’s decision fining a company active in the petrol and diesel distribution for abusing its dominant position (Orlen Lietuva)
European Commission
Lithuania: The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court upholds Competition Authority’s Decision on Abuse of Dominance by AB Orlen Lietuva (former AB Mažeikių Nafta)* On 15 April 2011, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court (Court of first instance) upheld the decision ofthe Competition Council (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission recalculates the fine imposed on a leading food company’s for its anti-competitive practices in the instant coffee market (Nestlé)
Ofcom
Background of the dispute In a 2009 decision, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) had found that Nestle had infringed articles 101 and 102 TFEU as well as the corresponding articles of national competition law (articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/77). In particular, Nestle was found, inter alia, (...)

The EU General Court confirms abuse of dominance by preventing the market entry or the parallel imports of generic medicinal products (AstraZeneca)
Stanford University - Stanford Law School
ECJ upholds European Commission decision against AstraZeneca* On 1 July 2010, the European Union’s General Court (or “GC”, formerly the Court of First Instance) handed down its judgment against the AstraZeneca Group (“AZ”) for having abused its dominant position by preventing the market entry or (...)

The EU General Court upholds “novel” approach to abuse of dominance in pivotal pharma appeal (AstraZeneca)
Linklaters (Brussels)
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Linklaters (Brussels)
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Linklaters (Brussels)
On July 1, 2010, the General Court ruled in an appeal against the European Commission’s first ever finding of abuse of a dominant position by a pharma company. The Court has broadly upheld a Decision the Commission itself characterised as “novel”, but reduced the €60 million fine on AstraZeneca to (...)

The EU General Court fines a company for abuse of a dominant position in the pharmaceutical sector addressing the issues of market definition and dominance analysis (AstraZeneca)
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
The General Court’s Judgment In AstraZeneca, Lessons For Market Definition And Dominance Analysis* On July 1, 2010, the European General Court rendered its judgment in the AstraZeneca case, dismissing for the most part AstraZeneca’s appeal against the Commission’s infringement decision of June (...)

The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal partially annuls the decision of the Hellenic Competition Commission on the parallel trade of pharmaceuticals (GlaxoSmithKline)
Bank of Greece
I. Introduction On 30 June 2009, the Athens Administrative Court of Appeal (Dioikitiko Efeteio Athinon, hereafter: the Court) delivered Decision No 2019/2009 annulling partially Decision No 318/V/2006 of the Hellenic Competition Commission (Elliniki Epitropi Antagonismou, hereafter: HCC) to (...)

The President of the Belgian Competition Council confirms refusal by the Competition Auditor to adopt interim measures following alleged abuse of dominance by 10 pharmaceutical companies concerning pharmaceuticals parallel imports (Bofar)
Sheppard Mullin (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Amsterdam)
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European Court of Justice
Introduction On 2 April 2009, the President of the Belgian Competition Council rejected the appeal by Bofar NV ("Bofar") against the decision of the Competition Auditor, which rejected Bofar’s request for interim measures following an alleged abuse of dominance by 10 pharmaceutical companies. (...)

The Hellenic Competition Commission fines coffee maker nearly € 30 M for infringements of Art. 81 and 82 EC and their domestic equivalents (Nestlé)
University of East Anglia - CCP
Following a complaint made by the competing Greek coffee manufacturer DRITSAS, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) launched an investigation into the coffee products market, investigating alleged breaches of Article 81 and 82 EC (and Articles 1 and 2 of Law 703/77) by NESTLE HELLAS A.E. (...)

The Swiss Parliament adopts the principle of “regional exhaustion” regarding parallel importation of patent-protected products in Switzerland
Lenz & Staehelin (Geneva)
On December 19th, 2008, the Swiss Parliament adopted the principle of regional exhaustion in the Swiss Patent Act. Practically, this means that parallel importation into Switzerland of products that are patent-protected in this country will be possible, under the condition that these products (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues judgment on restrictions of parallel trade in pharmaceuticals (Lélos kai Sia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 16 September 2008, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) handed down its judgment in Joined Cases C-468-478/06, answering the questions posed by the Athens Court of Appeals in proceedings against a decision finding that Glaxo Smith Kline (“GSK”) had not abused its dominant position by limiting (...)

EU Court of Justice Advocate General Colomer gives opinion on an abuse of dominant position in the pharmaceutical sector (Lélos kai Sia)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Practising Law Institute
On 1 April 2008, Advocate General Colomer gave his opinion in Joined Cases C-468/06 to C-478/06 Sot. Lélos Kai Sia EE (and Others) v GlaxoSmithKline AEVE.The case relates to a long series of disputes in Greece where GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of abusing its dominant position by reducing (...)

The Paris Court of Appeal rejects the complaint of a French wholesaler-exporter of pharmaceutical products and allows quotas and refusals to sell (Pharma-Lab)
Total (Paris)
On 23 January 2007, the Paris Court of Appeal (hereinafter the “Court”) issued a judgment in which it dismissed an appeal filed against a decision rendered by the French Competition Council (the “Council”) pursuant to Articles 81 and 82 EC and national provisions similar to those articles. In this (...)

The Italian Supreme Court upholds the NCA’s decision fining the energy incumbent € 4.5 M for having restricted independent importers to sell gas (ENI / Blugas-Snam)
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rome)
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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
On 6 November 2006, the Italian Supreme Administrative Court (Consiglio di stato) endorsed findings that ENI, the vertically integrated Italian gas incumbent, had failed to comply with the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) 2002 decision (Blugas-Snam)whereby ENI was found to have hampered the (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority rules that the decision of a dominant pharmaceutical firm to stop supplying the wholesalers and distribute the pharmaceuticals itself breaches the Greek Competition Act but not Art. 82 EC despite effect on trade between Member States (GlaxoSmithKline / SYFAIT)
Agora Trading
THE FACTS The dispute between GlaxoSmithKline (hereinafter “GSK”) and the Greek pharmaceutical wholesalers has its routes in 2000, when associations of the latter (amongst them “Sineterismos Farmakopion Etolias & Akarnanias”, “SYFAIT”) submitted numerous complaints to the Hellenic Competition (...)

The Athens Court of Appeal seeks a preliminary reference in the case of a pharmaceutical company denying the supply of certain drugs to Greek wholesale (GlaxoSmithKline)
University College London
Factual background The plaintiff was a company operating at the wholesale level, in the pharmaceutical sector, supplying pharmacies and hospitals with drugs and other products related to that sector. The defendant was the Greek Subsidiary of the GlaxoSmithKline Company incorporated in the UK. (...)

The French Competition Authority hands down a non-suit decision regarding alleged abuses of dominant position in the parallel trade of medicines (Pharma-Lab / GlaxoSmithKline)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. Parallel trade in medicines: Pharmaceutical laboratories do not abuse their dominant position when they restrict or refuse deliveries of medicines to exporters, who seek to purchase products in France at an (...)

The French Competition Council deems that pharmaceutical companies can, under certain conditions, impose quotas restricting parallel exports (Pharma-Lab / GlaxoSmithKline)
European Court of Justice
Summary This decision of the French Competition Council concerns the quota systems put in place by pharmaceutical companies in the framework of wholesaling, here limited to exporter wholesalers. The Plaintiffs were : Pharma-Lab, Pharmajet, Pharmadex TMC, European Trade Company and AD Pharm. (...)

The Court of First Instance of Athens rejects the claim that a pharmaceutical company abused its dominant position by limiting the supply of certain drugs to the distributors in Greece in order to avoid parallel exports of its products (GlaxoSmithKline)
Agora Trading
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University of Reading
The facts In 2001 a distributor of pharmaceutical products lodged a complain to the Court of First Instance of Athens against its supplier claiming that the latter’s decision to stop supplying it with drugs (as it had been doing for 20 years) and to establish a new distribution network in the (...)

Procedures

The European Court of Justice rules that the Greek Competition Authority is not a “court or tribunal” in the meaning of Art. 234 EC and therefore can not apply for an ECJ preliminary ruling (Syfait / GlaxoSmithKline)
White & Case (Brussels)
On 31 May 2005 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered its judgment in Case C-53/03, Syfait and others v. GlaxoSmithKline AEVE and GlaxoSmithKline plc (“Syfait”), which raises the question of whether a dominant pharmaceutical undertaking is under a duty to supply unlimited quantities of (...)

Regulations

The French Competition Authority issues an opinion following its sector inquiry on the distribution of medicinal products
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. After gathering market players’ insight, and having carried out an in-depth analysis of how the sector operates, the Autorité de la concurrence publishes its opinion.* It calls for the stimulation of (...)

The French Competition Authority publishes its recommendations to the New Caledonian government authorities regarding the food retail sector and the competition control bodies (Gouvernement de Nouvelle-Calédonie)
French Competition Authority
Press Release published on the official website of the French Competition Authority. The Autorité de la concurrence publishes its recommendations to the Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonian government authorities) regarding the food retail sector and the competition control (...)

The French Competition Authority issues opinion on draft decree regarding supply of medicinal products for human use
European Commission
France: The Autorité de la concurrence issues opinion on draft decree regarding supply of medicinal products for human use* On 20 July 2012, the Autorité de la concurrence (the Autorité) published an opinion upon request of the French Minister of Social Affairs and Health on a draft Decree (...)

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