Press Release 31/2015
The Portuguese Competition Authority fined ANF Group for abusing its dominant position
The Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) has imposed fines of € 10.340.000 on ANF (Associação Nacional das Farmácias) and three companies of the ANF Group (Farminveste – S.G.P.S., S.A., Farminveste – Investimentos, Participações e Gestão, S.A., e HMR – Health Market Research, Lda.) for abusing its dominant position in the form of a margin squeeze in the Portuguese pharmacies’ commercial data market and in the markets of pharma market studies based on these data.
The ANF Group maintains activity in both markets, the pharmacies’ commercial data sales market, through Farminveste – Investimentos, Participações e Gestão S.A. and, since 2009, the market of pharma market studies based on these data, with the creation of HMR – Health Market Research.
The PCA’s investigation concluded that between 01.01.2010 and 31.12.2013 the prices charged by the ANF Group for the pharmacies’ commercial data (upstream market) and those charged by the ANF Group for pharma market studies based on those data (downstream markets) did not provide an equally efficient competitor active in the downstream market with a sufficient margin to cover the remaining production costs.
The behaviour of the ANF Group constitutes a serious infringement of article 11 of the Portuguese Competition Act (Law n.º 19/2012, of 8 May) and article 102 of the TFEU.
A margin squeeze is an exclusionary abuse which corresponds to a behaviour whereby the dominant undertaking seeks through methods other than competition on the merits to maintain or increase its market power, preventing competitors from entering the market, weakening their competitive ability and/or foreclosing them from the market. The impact on competition ultimately harms consumers.
The PCA’s decision is subject to judicial review by the Competition Regulation and Supervision Court.
31 december 2015