Mélanie Thill-Tayara is the co-managing partner of Dechert’s Paris office and co-lead of the firm’s Life Sciences practice. Mélanie focuses her practice on antitrust and competition law, and she regularly represents leading companies in cartel and abuse of dominant position cases before EU and French authorities and courts. In addition, Mélanie assists leading companies in merger notifications before the French and European regulators and coordinates multi-jurisdictional filings. Prior to joining Dechert in February 2016, she served as a partner for more than 20 years with two other international law firms. Before that, she was an officer at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Competition, where she participated in numerous dawn raid operations and contributed to several decisions. Named “Litigator of the Year” at the Global Competition Review’s GCR Awards 2023, Mélanie Thill-Tayara is ranked as one of the top competition and antitrust lawyers in France by Chambers Europe, Legal 500, GCR100, Who’s Who Legal: France and Best Lawyers France.
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As one of the most heavily regulated industries in the European Union, the pharmaceutical sector has historically been an area of focus for the European Commission and national competition authorities, which have relentlessly used antitrust enforcement as an instrument to help achieve the wider policy objective set for the sector: supporting patients’ access to innovative and affordable medicines. In a context where EU legislation regarding pharmaceuticals is currently under review as part of the Commission’s new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, the sector remains under close scrutiny of competition authorities. In this article, we analyze the most recent developments across the European Union under Article 102 TFEU. While we still wait for the ECJ’s judgment in the Servier case, which creates notable uncertainty regarding the fate of the abuse of dominance allegation, these past 18 months the focus at the EU level seems to have shifted from pay-for-delay and excessive pricing cases to patent strategies (I.) and disparagement of competing drugs as an abuse of dominant position (II.). At the national level, excessive pricing remained at the center of attention, with the Leadiant case in several EU Member States and several appeal proceedings on-going in the UK (III.).
Following a Phase II investigation, the European Commission (the “Commission”) on 6 September 2022 prohibited the acquisition of Grail by Illumina, on the basis that the merger would allegedly stifle innovation in the emerging market for early cancer detection tests based on sequencing (...)
On 1 June 2022, the French Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) entirely dismissed the appeal of Janssen-Cilag (“Janssen”) and its parent company Johnson & Johnson against a judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court of Appeal”) of 11 July 2019 in the Durogesic® case. However, this (...)
On 10 May 2022, the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted the final version of the new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER”), which will enter into force on 1 June 2022. The new VBER, which replaces Regulation No. 330/2010 of 20 April 2010, is accompanied by a new version of (...)
In a communication of November 2020, the European Commission presented its ‘new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe’, the main objective of which is to achieve a strong, fair, competitive, and green pharmaceutical industry, centered on patients’ needs. The Commission’s ambition is to remove existing barriers that prevent patients’ access to innovative and affordable medicines, while facilitating the digital transformation of the industry. In this context, the enforcement of competition rules certainly remains an important instrument for the Commission to achieve its goals and we expect the sector to remain a key priority throughout the European Union. Just in the past year, several important decisions have been adopted and multiple investigations opened, both in antitrust and merger control.
The European Court of Justice has confirmed that financial investors can incur parental liability for the anticompetitive practices of portfolio companies, even after an IPO that left the investor holding only a minority stake in the company, provided that they still have sufficient (...)
This article has been nominated for the 2021 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The European Court of Justice has confirmed that financial investors can incur parental liability for the anticompetitive practices of portfolio companies, (...)
While pharmaceutical companies are subject to sector-specific regulations, the industry is not exempt from competition law, as exemplified by the numerous investigations that are regularly conducted by competition authorities around the globe and the magnitude of the sanctions that have been levied on pharmaceutical companies in recent years.
In three recent judgments issued on 5 October 2020, the General Court of the European Union ("GCEU") partially annulled the European Commission’s ("Commission") decisions of February 2017 which had authorized onsite unannounced inspections ("dawn raid”) to be carried out at the headquarters of (...)
Key Takeaways Following several individual initiatives by member state competition authorities to temporarily relax competition rules in specific sectors, the European Competition Network (which includes the European Commission and all member state competition authorities) has issued a more (...)
The pharmaceutical sector stands out as being regularly under the scrutiny of competition authorities throughout Europe and has continued to be a key enforcement priority over the past 18 months, with notable developments in pay-for-delay and excessive pricing cases, as well as on market definition and lifecycle management practices.
On 14 November 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal (the “Court”) quashed a decision of the French Competition Authority (“FCA”) of 20 September 2018 in which the latter had imposed € 199 000 fine on Sanicorse for having abused its dominant position on the market for infectious clinical waste (...)
More particularly, the Court affirmed the FCA’s conclusion that Janssen infringed competition law by, on the one hand, disparaging competing fentanyl specialties towards health professionals, emphasizing the risks associated with a switch from Durogesic© to a generic version and, on the other (...)
The General Court annuls in part the European Commission’s decision finding the existence of restrictive agreements and an abuse of a dominant position on the market for perindopril, a medicine used to treat hypertension and heart failure* On 12 December 2018, the General Court (“Court”) (...)
The General Court of the European Union recently held, in Goldman Sachs v. Commission, that purely financial investors such as investment funds may be held jointly and severally liable for competition law violations implemented by their portfolio companies when they can exercise “decisive (...)
EU Court Orders New Assessment of Intel’s Rebates The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has quashed a ruling by the EU’s General Court which had upheld the European Commission’s (EC) 2009 finding of abuse of dominance by Intel Corporation Inc. Intel was fined €1.06 billion, a (...)
This article has been nominated for the 2015 Antitrust Writing Awards. Click here to learn more about the Antitrust Writing Awards. The new “Hamon Law” introducing French class actions and its effects on competition and distribution law Introduction In order to balance the powers of (...)
Patent hold-up is a complex and contemporary issue, at the confluence of competition law and intellectual property law. In recent years, this practice, which is carried out by patentees, has raised a number of difficulties in both the United States and the European Union. While patent hold-up (...)
What is the competition balance sheet of Emmanuel Macron, Minister of the Economy and then President of the Republic? It is remarkable that Emmanuel Macron had a very strong reforming will in competition and distribution law, by opening markets (regulated professions, bus transport, rail (...)
In 2021, the European Court of Justice handed down an important judgment on private enforcement in Europe. It held that a claimant for damages in a cartel action can sue the subsidiary of the offender. In reaching this conclusion, the Court relied on the concept of undertaking, as developed by (...)
The commitment procedure can be very attractive for companies suspected of having infringed competition law, which conveniently avoid an in-depth investigation and a potential fine. From the competition authorities’ perspective, it also constitutes an effective procedural tool to swiftly (...)
The present contributions were gathered following up the 10th edition of the “New Frontiers of Antitrust” annual Concurrences review Conference held in Paris on June 14th, 2019, at the French Ministry of Economy and Finance. The discussions revolved around four topics. The members of the first (...)
Interview conducted by Mélanie Thill-Tayara, Partner, Dechert, Paris. A graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and ENA, you have held several positions within the DGCCRF, worked for the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union and, less conventionally, (...)
The authors of this On-Topic focus on the latest developments in the pharmaceutical sector. According to Ms Thill-Tayara, author of the first contribution and lawyer with Dechert Paris, if the competition agencies’ activism is partly motivated by the need to limit the expenses of national (...)
This third roundtable of the conference “New frontiers of Antitrust” (Paris, 21 February 2014) was dedicated to “European Competition Network 10 years after & EC Regulation 1/2003: Can cooperation be extended to merger control and advocacy?”. The objectives for the authors of this (...)