Pharma & COVID-19

Anticompetitive practices

The Dutch Competition Authority allows health insurers to distribute the additional costs of effects of the COVID-19 crisis among each other Free
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
Dutch health insurers may distribute the additional costs of effects of the coronavirus crisis among each other* This year, Dutch health insurers may distribute the additional costs of the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis among themselves. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers (...)

The Hellenic Competition Authority launches an investigation on health and hospital equipment during COVID-19 pandemic Free
Hellenic Competition Authority (Athens)
The interim results of HCC’s investigations on health and hospital equipment during covid-19 pandemic* Subject: Investigation by the Hellenic Competition Commission in the markets of a) healthcare materials, b) other appropriate means of individual or collective protection against the spread of (...)

The Hungarian Competition Authority investigates therapeutic claims attributed to cosmetic products containing C-peptide as consumers are subjected to unfair commercial practices due to COVID-19 (Vargapeptide) Free
Bird & Bird (Budapest)
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Bird & Bird (Budapest)
The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) keeps a watchful eye over advertisement claims regarding alleged COVID-19 treatments that exploit the vulnerability of consumers in the current pandemic. The GVH initiated an investigation against Max-Immun Kft. in May (VJ/22/2020), because of its (...)

The US DoJ issues a letter for monoclonal antibody manufacturers to expand their production during the COVID-19 pandemic and allows exchange of information
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Department Of Justice Issues Business Review Letter To Monoclonal Antibody Manufacturers To Expedite And Increase The Production Of Covid-19 Mab Treatments* The United States Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge proposed efforts by Eli Lilly and Company, AbCellera (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows public and private competing hospitals to continue cooperating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Private and public hospitals can continue cooperating on COVID-19* Private and public hospital operators, along with government health authorities in each Australian state and territory, will be able to continue working with each other in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, under the ACCC’s (...)

The Spanish Competition Authority receives over 500 complaints and inquiries in the mailbox set up specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Spanish Competition Authority (Madrid)
The CNMC receives over 500 complaints and inquiries through the mailbox set up during the Covid-19 crisis* The CNMC receives over 500 complaints and inquiries through the mailbox set up during the Covid-19 crisis The financial sector (45%) and the health products and food sector (30%) (...)

The Italian Competition Authority approves a joint purchasing agreement of surgical masks via pharmacies and drugstores pursuant to its temporary rules on cooperation between companies during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Ashurst (Milan)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
On 1 June 2020, the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") approved a joint purchasing agreement of surgical masks via pharmacies/drugstores and a moratorium scheme on loan repayments agreed within ASSOFIN (the Italian Association of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Lending) pursuant to its (...)

The Italian Competition Authority approves a distribution scheme allowing disposable surgical masks to be sold in pharmacies and health retail outlets as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 1 June 2020, the Italian competition authority (“L’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato”) authorised a scheme that would allow disposable surgical masks to be distributed and sold in pharmacies and health product retail outlets (see, attached press release). It did so at the request (...)

The Italian Competition Authority allows cooperation among competing pharmacies in purchasing and selling surgical masks, and common moratorium scheme for consumer credit among competing financial services providers, both as special measures allowed due to COVID-19 Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: competitive compatibility verified of the cooperation agreements between businesses for the distribution of masks and the moratorium scheme for consumer credit prepared by Assofin* The Authority has applied for the first time the Communication, approved last April, on cooperation (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority allows hospitals, hospital pharmacies, and pharmaceutical wholesalers to collaborate during COVID-19 outbreak to prevent or reduce any shortages of essential drugs Free
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM: room for collaboration involving the distribution of essential drugs for COVID-19 patients* Hospitals, hospital pharmacies, and pharmaceutical wholesalers are allowed to collaborate closely with each other during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in order to prevent or reduce (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority issues guidance aimed at 3 business associations in the pharmaceutical and financial sectors reaffirming the need to apply competition rules during the COVID-19 pandemic (National Association of Pharmacies / Portuguese Banking Association / Association of Specialized Credit Institutions) Free
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
Covid-19: AdC warns associations of the need to comply with competition rules* The Competition Authority (AdC) issued guidance aimed at three business associations in the pharmaceutical and financial sectors, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, reaffirming the need to apply competition (...)

The US DoJ announces its first approval of a COVID-19 competitor collaboration which is not involving medical supplies Free
Robins Kaplan (New York)
DOJ Signs Off On First COVID-Related Competitor Collaboration Not Involving Medical Supplies* On May 15, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice announced its first approval of a COVID-19 competitor collaboration that does not involve equipment or medications directly related (...)

The Turkish Competition Authority initiates its first pandemic related investigation against 29 undertakings operating in the different levels of food and cleaning/hygiene products market and announces that it will investigate the pricing behaviours Free
ACTECON (Istanbul)
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ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law (Istanbul)
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ACTECON (Istanbul)
The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) on March 23, 2020 gave its heads up to undertakings that it was “closely following the price increases”, which it referred to as “opportunistic” during the pandemic . As such, the TCA warned in its announcement that it will impose the highest fines allowed by (...)

The Italian Competition Authority releases notice on cooperation agreements between businesses within the framework of the COVID-19 emergency with special emphasis on the pharmaceutical, agri-food and health sector Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: Notice on cooperation agreements between businesses within the framework of the coronavirus emergency* Following the crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 and the needs of the production system to cope with it, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (Italian Competition (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue a joint antitrust statement regarding COVID-19 and competition in labor markets and recognise that firms may need to cooperate in unprecedented ways to respond to the pandemic Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional stressors on labor markets, particularly for healthcare workers and essential employees. While recognizing that employers, recruiters and staffing agencies may need—and be allowed to—cooperate in unprecedented ways to address current needs, on April 13, (...)

The US DoJ issues a business review letter that underscores the flexibility of the US antitrust regulators towards competitor collaborations aimed at increasing the supply and distribution of medical equipment needed to fight the COVID-19 Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Washington)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
A recent business review letter issued by the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division to five pharmaceutical and medical/surgical distributors offers insights into the antitrust enforcers’ views on competitor collaborations aimed at improving product access to respond to the Coronavirus (...)

The EU Commission publishes a temporary framework to guide companies that are cooperating to ensure the supply and distribution of essential products during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Hogan Lovells (Milan)
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Hogan Lovells (Paris)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
The European Commission has published a Temporary Framework Communication to provide guidance to companies that are cooperating to ensure the supply and distribution of essential products – including medicines and medical equipment – during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Communication sets out the (...)

The EU Commission increases leeway for cooperation between pharma and medical equipment companies during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Bird & Bird (Belgium)
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Bird & Bird (Copenhagen)
Competition rules are aimed at safeguarding healthy competition between companies. For more than half a century the EU and its Member States have vigorously defended effective competition by pursuing and sanctioning anti-competitive agreements and abuses of dominant positions. The pharma sector (...)

The EU Commission publishes a Temporary Framework for assessing antitrust issues relating to business cooperation as a response to the urgency stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Herbert Smith Freehills (Brussels)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (London)
On 8 April 2020 the Commission published a ‘Temporary framework for assessing antitrust issues related to business cooperation in response to situations of urgency stemming from the current COVID-19 outbreak’ (Temporary Framework). The Commission recognises the exceptional challenges faced by (...)

The EU Commission issues a Temporary Framework Communication on allowing limited cooperation among businesses, and a "comfort letter" especially for critical hospital medicines during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Antitrust: Commission provides guidance on allowing limited cooperation among businesses, especially for critical hospital medicines during the coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has published a Temporary Framework Communication to provide antitrust guidance to companies cooperating (...)

The EU Commission provides antitrust guidance to companies cooperating in response to urgent COVID-19 related matters especially in the health sector for critical hospital medicines and medical equipment Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (Brussels)
The European Commission has provided antitrust guidance to companies cooperating in response to urgent coronavirus (COVID-19) related matters, particularly in the health sector for critical hospital medicines and medical equipment, and has also exceptionally issued a “comfort letter” on a (...)

The EU Commission publishes its first comfort letter to foster cooperation among businesses in the pharmaceutical sector during COVID-19 pandemic Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (Brussels)
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Morgan Lewis (Brussels)
The European Commission published its first comfort letter in nearly 20 years on April 29, in an effort to foster cooperation among businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Here is what companies should know about the specific practices permitted under the comfort letter, as well (...)

The Bulgarian Competition Authority announces it will focus on allowing and monitoring collaborations among competitors in the markets for public health products, pharmaceuticals, food, and commerce important for fighting the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (Sofia)
Message by the CPC on the application of antitrust rules in the state of emergency situation concerning COVID-19* The Commission for protection of competition supports the joint position of the European Commission and the national competition authorities within the European Competition Network (...)

The Italian Competition Authority launches an investigation and opens sub-proceedings for potentially ordering interim measures against two companies providing products for the prevention of contagion COVID-19 to consumers resident in Europe (ContextLogic / Wish) Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
PS11734 - ANTITRUST: PROCEEDINGS INITIATED AGAINST THE WWW.WISH.COM PLATFORM* On 31 March, the Authority launched an investigation and opened a sub-proceedings for ordering, if necessary, an interim measure against ContextLogic Inc, the US company that owns the www.wish.com platform and its (...)

The UK Government publishes an order to the Competition Act in order to exclude certain arrangements in the healthcare sector to tackle the COVID-19 pressures Free
Hill Dickinson (Leeds)
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Hill Dickinson (London)
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Hill Dickinson (Leeds)
Healthcare providers - suspension of competition law provisions to tackle coronavirus pressures* To ensure that healthcare providers can work together effectively to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, an order has been made to exclude certain arrangements within the healthcare sector from (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue a joint statement detailing antitrust procedures and providing guidance for collaborations of businesses that work to protect the health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
On Tuesday, March 24, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint statement “detailing an expedited antitrust procedure and providing guidance for collaborations of businesses working to protect the health and safety of Americans during the COVID-19 (...)

The Italian Competition Authority initiates a proceeding against the sale of a generic drug for the treatment of HIV infections sold as a remedy to fight the COVID-19 virus (Kaletra) Free
University of Turin
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University of Turin
1.Introduction The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is unfortunately accompanied by the equally rapid one of unfair commercial practices in Italy. A worrying scenario, also for potential, serious effects on people’s health, on which the Italian Competition Authority (‘ICA’) continues to keep the (...)

The US DOJ and FTC publish a statement on the violation of antitrust laws in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of public health products during the COVID-19 situation Free
Sheppard Mullin (Washington)
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Sheppard Mullin (San Francisco)
DOJ and FTC To Focus On Antitrust and Consumer Protection Violations Relating to Coronavirus* The rapidly evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is impacting local and global companies, disrupting supply chains, creating volatility in the stock market, and causing great concern in local (...)

The US DoJ signals it will step up enforcement in response to COVID-19 and will hold accountable anyone who violates the antitrust laws in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of public health products Free
Cooley (Washington)
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Cooley (San Francisco)
The DOJ’s Antitrust Division has signaled it will step up enforcement in response to COVID-19. While pandemics and Sherman Act investigations may not seem like the most intuitive pairing, it actually fits a historic pattern in which the DOJ ramps up antitrust enforcement during crises. There are (...)

The US DoJ and FTC warn companies and would-be scammers that they will use their consumer protection and competition enforcement powers to go after anyone trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
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Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
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Lowenstein Sandler (Washington)
COVID-19: The Reaction of U.S. Antitrust Agencies* COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of American life right now, and there are myriad legal issues companies are facing from the pandemic’s fallout. These include antitrust considerations, ranging from potentially criminal conduct to (...)

The US DoJ reiterates its focus on prosecuting violations of antitrust laws in areas affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the criminal prosecution that can be faced Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The potential for government investigation increases during periods of rapid and extreme movement in price. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently reiterated its focus on prosecuting violations of antitrust laws, especially in areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak. On March 9, 2020, (...)

The US DoJ announces its intention to continue to hold businesses accountable for per se criminal violations of antitrust laws during the COVID-19 situation Free
Proskauer (Washington)
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Proskauer (London)
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Proskauer (Washington)
As businesses across the globe grapple with the changing realities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. and international antitrust enforcers have warned that business should continue to mind the antitrust laws. Global enforcers are also focusing on the role competition laws play as (...)

The US DoJ warns businesses against price fixing, bid rigging, and market sharing in the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of public health products in the face of COVID-19 outbreak Free
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Cautions Business Community Against Violating Antitrust Laws in the Manufacturing, Distribution, and Sale of Public Health Products* The Department of Justice today announced its intention to hold accountable anyone who violates the antitrust laws of the United States in (...)

The US DoJ announces its intention to hold accountable anyone who violates the antitrust laws of the United States in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of public health products following the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Eversheds Sutherland (New York)
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Eversheds Sutherland (Washington D.C.)
As we all respond to COVID-19 (the coronavirus), we should keep an eye on the responsive measures being taken by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and consider how those measures might impact companies and individuals globally. The DOJ acts in several roles, including as a part of law (...)

The US DoJ publishes a reminder that emergency efforts do not negate the requirement to adhere to the antitrust laws and the COVID-19 situation is not an opportunity to violate those laws Free
Epstein Baker Green (Washington DC)
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Epstein Baker Green (Washington DC)
As organizations are working to respond to the 2019 novel coronavirus (known as “COVID-19”), the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a reminder that emergency efforts do not negate the requirement to adhere to the antitrust laws, and that the DOJ stands ready to respond to market participants (...)

The US DoJ publishes a statement cautioning that the antitrust laws remain in effect and agreements among competitors that set commercial terms may be illegal Free
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (New York)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington DC)
Antitrust-Related Considerations Collaborations With Competitors Companies seeking to collaborate with competitors in response to the COVID-19 crisis must keep in mind, as the Department of Justice has recently cautioned, that the antitrust laws remain in effect, and agreements among (...)

The California, New York, and Washington Attorneys General announce their intent to take action against unfair "price gouging" and the US DOJ focuses on public health products during the COVID-19 situation Free
Paul Weiss (New York)
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Paul Weiss (New York)
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Paul Weiss (Washington)
State AGs Respond to COVID-19-Related “Price Gouging” and DOJ Antitrust Enforcement to Focus on Public Health Products* The outbreak and continued spread of a new strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, has led to surging demand for, and in some cases shortages in the supply of, a wide variety of (...)

Unilateral Practices

The South African Competition Tribunal publishes its written reasons to penalize a pharmaceutical chain for excessive pricing (Dis-Chem) Free
Nortons (Sandton)
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Nortons (Sandton)
South Africa’s Second Price Gouging Case: Dis-Chem Penalised For Excessive Pricing re Face Masks* On 14 July 2020, the South African Competition Tribunal published its written reasons in relation to its decision to penalize Dis-Chem (a large pharmaceutical chain in South Africa) for (...)

The UK Competition Authority opens investigations against four pharmacies and convenience stores for suspected breaches of antitrust rules by charging excessive and unfair prices for hand sanitiser products during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
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Morgan Lewis (London)
The UK Competition and Markets Authority on June 19 announced that it had opened investigations against four pharmacies and convenience stores in relation to suspected breaches of antitrust rules by charging excessive and unfair prices for hand sanitiser products during the coronavirus (...)

The UK Competition Authority publishes update on its COVID-19 taskforce, including a number of excessive pricing complaints and investigations Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA publishes update on COVID-19 Taskforce* The CMA has today published an update from its COVID-19 Taskforce, set up to monitor and respond to consumer and competition problems arising from the pandemic. As part of the Taskforce’s work, it asked the public for information about businesses (...)

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation fines three pharmaceutical companies for abuse of dominance in the distribution of injectable drug and confirms that medical devices sectors continue to be an enforcement priority amid the COVID-19 outbreak (Kanghui / Puyunhui / Taiyangshen) Free
Herbert Smith Freehills (Shanghai)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong)
On 9 April 2020, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) fined 3 pharmaceutical companies for abuse of dominance in the distribution of injectable calcium gluconate Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). The three companies were found to be in breach of the PRC’s Anti-Monopoly (...)

The French Competition Authority closes investigation into exclusive imports practices in the medical equipment sector in French Guiana and French West Indies Free
French Competition Authority (Paris)
Respiratory assistance equipment in French Guiana and the French West Indies: investigation closed for exclusive imports* The Autorité closes an initial investigation into exclusive import practices in the medical equipment sector intended for hospitals in French Guiana and the French West (...)

The UK Competition Authority investigates four pharmacies and convenience stores for excessive and unfair pricing of hand sanitiser products to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
Bird & Bird (London)
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Bird & Bird (London)
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating four pharmacies and convenience stores for suspected breaches of competition law. The investigations, under Chapter II of the Competition Act 1998 (CA 98), relate to suspected charging of excessive and unfair prices for hand sanitiser (...)

The UK Competition Authority writes an open letter to the pharmaceutical and food and drink industries warning them not to exploit the COVID-19 outbreak to charge prices that might be deemed excessive Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): CMA open letter to pharmaceutical and food and drink industries.* The Competition and Markets Authority has published an open letter for businesses in the pharmaceutical and food and drink industries. Details We have written an open letter to the pharmaceutical and (...)

The Ukrainian Competition Authority issues recommendations to pharmacies and retailers against excessive prices for masks, examines price hikes for airline tickets, and monitors prices for disinfectants and consumption basket products Free
Redcliffe Partners (Kyiv)
As with other competition authorities, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the "AMC") is responding promptly during the coronavirus outbreak. On 13 March 2020, the AMC announced that it would investigate any unjustified price hikes for medicines, face masks and other personal health (...)

The Italian Competition Authority publishes two investigations against online platforms with regards to some claims relating to the marketing of hand sanitising, respiratory masks and hygiene products (Amazon / eBay) Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
Coronavirus, the Authority begins investigating Amazon and eBay for misleading claims and excessive price increases.* The Authority launched two separate investigations today against the Amazon platform (Amazon Italia Customer Service, Amazon Eu, Amazon Service Europe) and eBay platform (eBay (...)

The Italian Competition Authority investigates online sales platforms for excessive pricing of hand sanitizers and respiratory protection masks in the face of COVID-19 outbreak in the country Free
Italian Competition Authority (Rome)
ICA: Coronavirus, the Authority intervenes in the sale of sanitizing products and masks* Today the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (the Italian Antitrust Authority) sent a request for information to the main online sales platforms and other sales sites about the marketing of (...)

Mergers

The Finnish Market Court extends due to COVID-19 the time limit for in-depth investigation of a merger between 2 health care companies (Mehiläinen / Pihlajalinna) Free
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
The time limit for processing the merger of Mehiläinen and Pihlajalinna has been extended until 29 September 2020* The Market Court has extended the processing time limit for the merger of Mehiläinen and Pihlajalinna, which is being investigated by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Agency (...)

The UK Government introduces measures allowing it to intervene in merger transactions to mitigate the effects of public health emergencies following the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On 22 June 2020, the UK Government introduced new measures allowing it to intervene in merger transactions “to maintain in the United Kingdom the capability to combat, and to mitigate the effects of, public health emergencies." The Government will be able to intervene on these grounds in any (...)

The German Government tightens national foreign direct investment screening regime to better protect security-relevant businesses in the health sector from non-EEA take-overs in light of COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (Washington)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
A recent amendment to Germany’s foreign direct investment ordinance adds new businesses to the existing catalogue of critical infrastructures—in particular, in the health sector—that will be subject to foreign direct investment screening going forward. Germany is taking several legislative (...)

The German Federal Government tightens foreign direct investment control in light of COVID-19 following the guidance from the EU Commission on a possible increased risk of attempts to acquire healthcare capacities Free
Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Brussels)
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Jones Day (Frankfurt)
On May 20, 2020, the German Federal government adopted the 15th amendment to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (AWV). The changes to the AWV will be effective shortly, after publication in the Federal Gazette. Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the amendment expands the scope of (...)

The UK Competition Authority states that a private hospital merger will be cleared if it can address local competition concerns, and recognizes the difficulty faced by merging parties due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Circle Health / BMI Healthcare) Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
Private hospital merger to be approved if local concerns addressed* The CMA has found that the completed merger between Circle and BMI does not raise UK-wide competition concerns but could reduce competition in 2 local areas. Both Circle and BMI provide elective care to NHS and privately (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority fines a hospital for gun-jumping but accepts payment of the fine in multiple installments not to negatively affect the hospital’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic (Hospital Particular do Algarve) Free
Portuguese Competition Authority (Lisbon)
AdC fines Hospital Particular do Algarve for gun-jumping* The AdC fined Hospital Particular do Algarve, SA (HPA) in the total amount of 155,000 euros for acquiring sole control of Hospital de S. Gonçalo de Lagos S.A. (HSGL) without prior notification of the acquisition and, consequently, (...)

The Portuguese Competition Authority allows payment of a gun-jumping fine in installments due to the COVID-19 outbreak (Hospital Particular do Algarve) Free
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
In September 2019, the Portuguese Competition Authority (“AdC”) imposed a fine of € 155,000 on Hospital Particular do Algarve (“HPA”) for gun-jumping, finding that HPA had acquired sole control of Hospital de São Gonçalo de Lagos without the AdC’s prior approval. The AdC has recently announced that it (...)

State Aid

The EU Commission approves €5 billion French “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing infrastructures and production of COVID-19 relevant products Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €5 billion French “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing infrastructures and production of coronavirus relevant products* The European Commission has approved a €5 billion French “umbrella” scheme to support research and development, testing and (...)

The EU Commission approves €25 million Belgian aid scheme to support COVID-19 related research and development activities in Wallonia Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €25 million Belgian aid scheme to support coronavirus related research and development activities in Wallonia* The European Commission has approved a €25 million Belgian aid scheme to support coronavirus related research and development (R&D) in Wallonia.The (...)

The EU Commission approves €11.5 million Maltese scheme to support investments in the production of COVID-19-relevant products Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €11.5 million Maltese scheme to support investments in the production of coronavirus-relevant products* The European Commission has approved a Maltese aid scheme of €11.5 million to support investments in the production of productsthat are relevant to the (...)

The EU Commission approves €7.3 million Czech scheme to support research and development activities related to COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €7.3 million Czech scheme to support research and development activities related to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a CZK 200 million (approximately €7.3 million) Czech aid scheme to support research and development (R&D) activities (...)

The EU Commission approves German “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing and production of COVID-19 relevant products Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves German “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing and production of coronavirus relevant products* The European Commission has approved a German “umbrella” scheme to support research, development, testing and production of coronavirus relevant (...)

The EU Commission approves €4 million Belgian scheme to support COVID-19 related research and development projects Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €4 million Belgian scheme to support coronavirus related research and development projects* The European Commission has approved a €4 million Belgian direct grant scheme for the Brussels-Capital region to support coronavirus related research and development (...)

The EU Commission approves €5.3 million Maltese scheme to support research and development related to COVID-19 outbreak Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €5.3 million Maltese scheme to support research and development related to coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €5.3 million Maltese direct grants scheme to support investment in research and development (R&D) related to the coronavirus (...)

The EU Commission approves €23 million Dutch scheme of direct grants to support providers of social support services, health care and youth care in offering services at home during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €23 million Dutch scheme to support the economy in the current coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €23 million Dutch scheme to support certain providers of social support and health care in offering services at home during the coronavirus (...)

The EU Commission consults with Member States on extending the State aid Temporary Framework for COVID-19 outbreak with 5 new measures Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
Coronavirus: Commission Statement on consulting Member States on the proposal to extend State aid Temporary Framework* This evening, the European Commission has sent to Member States for consultation a draft proposal to extend the State aid Temporary Framework adopted on 19 March 2020 to (...)

The EU Commission approves a €50 million Italian State aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices Free
DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves €50 million Italian support scheme for production and supply of medical equipment and masks during Coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, such as (...)

Procedures

The Mexican Competition Authority issues emergency regulations providing that the service of process of official communication and resolutions in ongoing procedures can be performed via email during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
White & Case (Mexico)
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White & Case (Mexico)
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White & Case (Mexico)
Effective as of April 23, 2020 , the Mexican Competition Commission (“COFECE”) issued emergency regulations providing that, during and as long as the coronavirus pandemic is considered a health emergency, the service of process of official communication and resolutions in ongoing (...)

The Finnish Competition Authority clarifies that competition legislation does not prevent necessary measures for safeguarding the supply of personal protective equipment and medicines in the context of COVID-19 outbreak Free
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (Helsinki)
Competition legislation does not prevent necessary measures for safeguarding the supply of personal protective equipment and medicines* The COVID-19 outbreak also affects the application of competition legislation. Companies are permitted to make extraordinary co-operative arrangements for the (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue a joint statement announcing an expedited antitrust procedure and provide guidance for collaborations of businesses working to protect the health and safety of Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCE EXPEDITED ANTITRUST PROCEDURE AND GUIDANCE FOR CORONAVIRUS PUBLIC HEALTH EFFORTS* The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division today issued joint statement detailing an expedited antitrust procedure (...)

The UK Competition Authority launches a COVID-19 taskforce to ensure compliance in markets affected by the public health emergency and to advise the Government on competition law matters during the outbreak Free
United Kingdom’s Competition Authority - CMA (London)
CMA launches COVID-19 taskforce* The CMA is today launching a taskforce to tackle negative impacts within its remit of the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge that has prompted many concerns that businesses might exploit the situation (...)

The Russian Supreme Court and the Council of Judges issue a joint resolution to address measures Russian State Courts must take to limit the spread of the COVID-19 Free
Dechert (Moscow)
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Dechert (Moscow)
On March 18, 2020, Russia’s Supreme Court and the Counsel of Judges issued Joint Resolution No. 808 to address measures Russian state courts must take to limit the spread of COVID-19 (the “Resolution”). The Resolution makes reference to the Federal Law on Sanitary and Epidemic Safety, the (...)

Regulatory

The Russian Competition Authority approves first two manufacturers on the maximum selling price of medicine favipiravir used in treating COVID-19 and announces that the price registration will increase its availability for the country’s population Free
Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (Moscow)
FAS: After Favipiravir Price Registration, Its Retail Price Will Be Reduced at Least Twice* Registering the price of a medicine for treatment of COVID-19 will significantly increase its availability for the Russian population The FAS Russia has approved the first two pharmaceutical (...)

The EFTA Surveillance Authority prolongs its recommendation for quicker conformity assessments for PPE and proposes derogations from standard market-approval procedures for medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
EFTA Surveillance Authority (Brussels)
ESA prolongs a recommendation to prevent delays and ease market access for protective equipment and medical gear* The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today decided to amend and prolong its Recommendation on conformity assessment and market surveillance procedures , in order to continue (...)

The US FTC supports new provisions by the US centers for medicare & medicaid services aimed at reducing or eliminating restrictive Medicare payment requirements for telehealth and related services during the COVID-19 pandemic Free
US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (Washington)
FTC Comment Supports Provisions in Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Interim Final Rule that Reduce or Eliminate Restrictive Medicare Payment Requirements for Telehealth and Related Services during Pandemic* The staffs of the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Policy Planning, (...)

The Dutch Competition Authority states that health insurers are allowed to give health care providers financial support collectively during COVID-19 crisis Free
Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (The Hague)
ACM: Health insurers are allowed to give health care providers financial support collectively during Coronavirus crisis* Health insurers are allowed to make collective arrangements to provide financial support to health care providers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. More (...)

The US DoJ issues a second business review letter to show that it is still open to creative solutions to combat COVID-19 to get medical supplies where they are needed the most Free
McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Chicago)
The United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) has issued a second Business Review Letter pursuant to the expedited review process it announced on March 24, 2020 to review conduct related to COVID-19 within seven days. The letter released on April 20, 2020 issued to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority grants 17 interim authorisations to address immediate problems being faced by industry participants and to ensure public needs and benefits are retained during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
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Bird & Bird (Sydney)
In recent weeks, the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission ("ACCC") has acted swiftly and granted 17 interim authorisations to address immediate problems being faced by industry participants and to ensure public needs and benefits are retained during the COVID-19 pandemic. (...)

The US DoJ issues positive Business Review Letter to drug wholesale company and announces it will not challenge collaborative efforts in procuring healthcare supplies used to treat COVID-19 patients (AmerisourceBergen) Free
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Justice Department Issues Business Review Letter to AmerisourceBergen Supporting Distribution of Critical Medicines Under Expedited Procedure for COVID-19 Pandemic Response* The Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge collaborative efforts of AmerisourceBergen (...)

The Australian Government publishes a regulation which prohibits several health-related goods from being exported from Australia during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Bird & Bird (Sydney)
During the COVID-19 human biosecurity period, exportation of some health-related goods has been prohibited, with the intention to control supply in Australia. Regulation 13GI of the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations prohibits a number of goods from being exported from Australia. These (...)

The Australian Competition Authority allows both public and private hospital operators in Northern Territory and Souther Australia to work with each other and relevant health agencies during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
PRIVATE AND PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN NT AND SA AUTHORISED TO COOPERATE ON COVID-19 RESPONSE* Private hospitals and health agencies in the Northern Territory and South Australia respectively will be able to cooperate in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, following separate interim authorisations (...)

The US Food and Drug Administration expands its enforcement discretion policy for the import, distribution and use of certain masks and other personal protective equipment for medical use Free
Arent Fox (Washington)
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Arent Fox (Washington)
Import and distribution of face shields and respirators during COVID-19 pandemic* Introduction This article concerns the import and distribution of respirators and other masks to be used to meet the significant US healthcare challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As reported in the news (...)

The Australian Competition Authority grants interim authorisation allowing life insurers to co-ordinate to ensure frontline healthcare workers are not excluded from coverage due to COVID-19 exposure Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
CO-ORDINATION ON LIFE INSURANCE FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS DURING PANDEMIC* The ACCC has granted interim authorisation allowing life insurers to co-ordinate to ensure frontline healthcare workers are not excluded from coverage due to potential or actual exposure to COVID-19. The interim (...)

The South African Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition issues six regulations amending the national Competition Act aimed to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 Free
Herbert Smith Freehills (Johannesburg)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Johannesburg)
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Herbert Smith Freehills (Johannesburg)
Following the declaration of a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act No. 57 of 2002 (as amended), the concerning escalation in the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in South Africa prompted the National Coronavirus Command Council to enforce a nationwide (...)

The Australian Competition Authority grants interim authorisation after receiving an application lodged by private health insurers to provide financial relief to policyholders during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURERS TO COOPERATE ON COVID-19 COVERAGE AND DEFERRAL OF PREMIUMS* Private health insurers have been granted conditional interim authorisation to co-ordinate on providing financial relief to policy holders during the COVID-19 pandemic, and broadening insurance coverage to (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises private hospitals in Victoria and Queensland to cooperate with their state health agencies, public hospitals and each other during the COVID-19 crisis Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Private and public hospitals to cooperate on COVID-19 in Victoria and Queensland* The ACCC has separately authorised private hospitals in Victoria and in Queensland to cooperate with their state health agencies, public hospitals and each other, as they prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 (...)

The US DoJ issues a business review letter under the DoJ-FTC joint expedited COVID-19 competitor collaboration review procedures, blessing several medical supply companies to work together to produce and distribute equipment and medicine Free
White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (New York)
On April 4, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice issued its first Business Review Letter under the DOJ-FTC joint expedited COVID-19 competitor collaboration review procedures, blessing several medical supply companies to work together to produce and distribute personal (...)

The US DoJ issues its first business review letter under the DoJ-FTC expedited COVID-19 competitor collaboration review procedures, blessing several medical supply companies to work together to produce and distribute protective equipment Free
White & Case (Washington)
,
White & Case (New York)
,
White & Case (Washington)
On April 4, 2020, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice issued its first Business Review Letter under the DOJ-FTC joint expedited COVID-19 competitor collaboration review procedures, blessing several medical supply companies to work together to produce and distribute personal (...)

The US DoJ issues positive Business Review Letter to Medical Supplies Distributors and announces it will not challenge their collaborations supporting Project Airbridge under the expedited procedure for COVID-19 pandemic response (McKesson / Owens & Minor / Cardinal Health / Medline Industries / Henry Schein) Free
US Department of Justice - Antitrust Division (Washington)
Department of Justice Issues Business Review Letter to Medical Supplies Distributors Supporting Project Airbridge Under Expedited Procedure for COVID-19 Pandemic Response* The U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge collaborative efforts of McKesson Corporation, (...)

The Australian Competition Authority grants conditional interim authorisation for medicine manufacturers to coordinate on COVID-19 response Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Medicine manufacturers to coordinate on COVID-19 response* The ACCC has granted conditional interim authorisation for Medicines Australia (MA), the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) and their members to work together to support the continued supply of essential medicines (...)

The Australian Competition Authority authorises medicine wholesalers to cooperate to facilitate distribution of essential medication and pharmacy products during COVID-19 crisis Free
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Canberra)
Medicine wholesalers to co-operate on access to pharmaceutical products* Wholesalers of medicines will be able to co-operate to facilitate distribution of essential medication and pharmacy products after being granted interim authorisation by the ACCC. This follows an application by the (...)

The EU Commission issues guidelines to protect against predatory buyers during the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
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Morgan Lewis (Belgium)
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Morgan Lewis (Frankfurt)
The European Commission on March 25 issued guidelines addressed to its member states outlining an EU-wide approach for foreign direct investment screening. The guidelines seek to protect EU companies as well as critical assets that are essential for the EU’s security and public order, (...)

The EU Commission publishes its first official guidance on the application of the FDI Regulation and states that during the COVID-19 crisis there could be an increased risk of attempts to acquire healthcare capacities Free
Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
On March 25, 2020, the European Commission (EC) published its first official guidance (the Guidance) on the application of Regulation 2019/452 (the FDI Regulation), which created a new framework for screening foreign direct investments (FDI) into the European Union (EU). The EC noted that, in (...)

The US DoJ and FTC issue a joint statement to outline that they are monitoring markets behaviour during the global health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
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Shearman & Sterling (New York)
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Shearman & Sterling (Washington)
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has, at least temporarily, reshaped the way that many companies do business. Nevertheless, companies must continue to be vigilant about compliance with the antitrust laws and understand that the U.S. antitrust agencies will continue to scrutinize their behavior (...)

The French Parliament adopts an emergency law establishing a health state of emergency to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic Free
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Paris)
On Monday March 23, 2020, the French Parliament adopted an emergency law establishing a “health state of emergency,” declared for a period of two months from March 24, 2020 to May 24, 2020 (Emergency Law No. 2020-290 of March 23, 2020 to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic) (the “Emergency Law”). This (...)

The US DoJ and State Attorney-General propose federal additions to the US Price Gouging Framework following the COVID-19 pandemic Free
White & Case (New York)
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White & Case (Washington)
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White & Case (Washington)
Price gouging enforcement has largely been left to the States with their patchwork of varying laws—laws that have been invoked sporadically in crises. While the COVID-19 crisis has reportedly led to increased state enforcement, the federal government has taken a larger role, including Justice (...)

The South African Ministry of Trade and Industry grants block exemptions to the healthcare sector to combat the spread of the COVID-19 Free
Hogan Lovells (Johannesburg)
Acting swiftly to try to contain the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa, on 15 March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster. Now the government has gone further - on 19 March 2020 regulations issued by the Minister of Trade and Industry (the "Regulations") were (...)

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