Portuguese Competition Court rules in favor of the Portuguese Competition Authority against ANF group

​Press release 20/2016
 
Portuguese Competition Court rules in favor of the Portuguese Competition Authority against ANF group
 
The Court for Competition, Regulation and Supervision (TCRS) ruled in favor of the Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência - AdC), and against the National Association of Pharmacies (ANF) and three other societies of the same group, Farminveste S. G. P. S, Farminveste – Investments, Participations and Management, S. A. and the Health Market Research (HRM), Lda, condemned for abuse of dominant position in the markets of commercial data from pharmacies and of market studies based on these data.
 
The TCRS considered proven the practice of “margin squeeze” – a serious infringement of the competition rules and of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU – just as the AdC had concluded in December 2015, when it condemned four entities of the ANF group to pay a fine in the total amount of 10.34 million euros.
 
In today's ruling, the TCRS set the value of the fine for a total of 6.89 million euros, taking into account the market affected.
 
The practice condemned by the AdC affected all companies which found themselves unable to enter or compete in the market, as well as the clients purchasing market studies, namely, pharmaceutical laboratories, who use them to define the respective trade policy.
 
In 2015, the AdC concluded an investigation into the market of pharmacies’ commercial data sales, following a complaint made by competitor IMS Health, having concluded that, between 2010 and 2013, the prices charged by the ANF group in the sale of pharmacies’ commercial data, when compared to the prices charged by the same group in the sale of market studies based on those data, did not allow a competitor, yet equally effective, to achieve a sufficient margin to cover production costs in the sale of markets studies.
 
The practice of “margin squeeze” is part of exclusionary abuses, corresponding to a behavior in which the dominant company seeks through illegal business practices, to maintain or increase its market power, preventing or hindering the entry of competitors in the market, weakening the respective competitive position or leading to market exclusion.
 
20 October 2016