Prohibition of GSK anti-parallel-trade measures quashed

Court of First Instance judgment (about 40 pages) partially granting an application by GlaxoSmithKline to quash the European Commission's 2001 decision (about 36 pages) declaring GSK's system of dual pricing for pharmaceuticals in Spain to be in breach of Article 81. The system involved charging Spanish wholesalers lower prices on drugs destined for Spanish reimbursable end-use than on drugs that are exported.

The Court criticises several aspects of the Commission's reasoning, but eventually agrees that the system comes within the scope of the Article 81(1) prohibition. However, it rejects the Commission's view that the arrangement was not justified under Article 81(3), holding that the Commission's reasoning was vitiated by its failure to consider in detail the economic or econometric evidence submitted by GSK relating to links between restrictions on parallel trade and R&D. The matter is remitted to the Commission for reconsideration.

Update, February 2007: Appeals to the ECJ have been initiated by both the Commission (seeking restoration of the finding of restrictive object) and GSK (seeking annulment of the finding of restrictive effect).

Filed under ECJ/CFI, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals.

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