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European Commission - Press release

Antitrust: Commission closes investigation in pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Nycomed

Brussels, 1 March 2012 - The European Commission has ceased its antitrust investigation into the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Nycomed. The investigation focused on suspected individual or joint action to delay the market entry of generic medicines. Such behaviour if established would have been contrary to EU antitrust rules that prohibit restrictive business practices and the abuse of a dominant market position (Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU – TFEU).

On 30 November 2010, the Commission launched unannounced inspections at the premises of AstraZeneca and Nycomed in several Member States (see MEMO/10/647).


Between 2008 and 2009, the Commission carried out an extensive competition inquiry into the pharmaceutical sector with a primary focus on practices to delay the market entry of generic medicines, which may cause significant consumer harm (see IP/09/1098).

As a follow-up, the Commission continues to regularly monitor potentially problematic patent settlements (see IP/11/840 and IP/10/887). It also opened antitrust investigations against Servier (see MEMO/09/322), Lundbeck (see IP/10/8), Cephalon (see IP/11/511) and Johnson & Johnson (see IP/11/1228) for possible violations of EU competition rules, including practices involving generic companies.

Contacts :

Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)

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