The EU General Court upholds “novel” approach to abuse of dominance in pivotal pharma appeal (AstraZeneca)

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 €52.5 million. Background The judgment marks a watershed in a process that has been running for more than a decade, concerning business practices applied by AstraZeneca between 1993 and 2000. In 1999, following complaints from two generic manufacturers, the Commission opened an investigation into AstraZeneca’s patent management strategies for blockbuster ulcer drug, Losec (omeprazole). The allegations centred around two practices: First, the Commission found that AstraZeneca had engaged in a

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Jonas Koponen, Bernd Meyring, Gerwin Van Gerven, The EU General Court upholds “novel” approach to abuse of dominance in pivotal pharma appeal (AstraZeneca), 1 July 2010, e-Competitions Bulletin Competition in the Pharmaceutical sector, Art. N° 41073

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