Sunday, 4 July 2010

Abuse of dominant position: AstraZeneca

In Case T-321/05 AstraZeneca v Commission the General Court upheld the Commission's finding that the drug company had abused its dominant position (contrary to Article 82 as it was, Article 86 as I remember it, now Article 102 TFEU - and also Article 54 of the EEA Agreement), but reduced from 60 million to 52.5 million Euros the penalty imposed for it. The Commission found that it had done so to keep a generic competitor for Omeprazole, which it  sold under the names  Prilosec and Losec heartburn medicine, off the market.

AstraZeneca challenged the European Commission's decision to fine it for abuse of its dominant position including misleading patent offices in several countries (including the UK) and a number of courts.This finding stands, but the Court reversed the Commission's finding that AstraZeneca breached competition rules by withdrawing market approvals for older versions of the medicine in Denmark and Norway, preventing generic producers and parallel importers entering the market.

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