PLMJ Advises the National Association of Pharmacies and its Holdings in Administrative Offence Proceedings

06/28/2017

Court of Appeal reduces fines originally applied by the Competition Authority by more than 90% and ends the case that began in 2009.

PLMJ advised the National Association of Pharmacies and its holdings in a complicated case brought by the Portuguese Competition Authority (PCA) in 2009. At issue was an alleged abuse of a dominant position by margin squeezing in the market for research into the sale of medicines based on data from pharmacies.

The Lisbon Court of Appeal reduced the fines originally applied by the PCA to the National Association of Pharmacies and its holdings, Farminveste IPG, Farminveste SGPS and HMR by 90%. The proceedings, which began in 2009, originally led the PCA to impose total fines exceeding €10 million. These fines were reduced to €7 million at first instance and the Court of Appeal has now reduced them to around €800,000.

The Court of Appeal held that one of the companies (Farminveste SGPS) could not be held responsible for the abuse of a dominant position in question. The Court, therefore, dismissed the proceedings against that company and this significantly reduce the total amount of finds applied.

The decision of the Lisbon Court of Appeal is not subject to an ordinary appeal because, in this type of case, the Court of Appeal is the court of last instance.

The PLMJ multidisciplinary team that handled the case, which lasted for more than eight years, was made up of partners Ricardo Oliveira, João Medeiros and Tiago Duarte, and senior associates Luís Pinto Monteiro and Dirce Rente.