Abuse of dominant position
On 17 July 2008, the Competition Commission (ComCo) announced
that it has closed its investigation of Documed's practice in
relation to information on pharmaceutical products. Documed is a
subsidiary of Galenica, which is active in publishing information
about pharmaceuticals in Switzerland. It publishes, in particular,
the "Swiss Compendium of Pharmaceuticals". This contains
comprehensive information on pharmaceuticals intended for medical
staff and patients.
Documed has been subject to an investigation by the ComCo since
21 June 2005. Documed was suspected of abusing its dominant
position by forcing unreasonable prices from pharmaceutical
companies and refusing to enter into contract negotiations on the
provision of raw data regarding the pharmaceutical product
information to third parties.
The investigation has shown that Documed's practice was
discriminating against the information providers. In particular,
tariffs applied by Documed favored without objective reason
undertakings which provide an important quantity of information
(more than 90 products per year). By contrast, Documed has not been
found to have imposed unfair prices within the meaning of the
With Documed's decision now to remove any form of
discriminatory treatment in its billing practice, the ComCo has
discontinued proceedings, whilst imposing a reduced fine on Documed
Under Swiss competition law, an undertaking that abuses its
dominant position may be fined up to 10% of its turnover in
Switzerland in the previous three business years. The assessment
criteria for imposing fines are set out in the Ordinance on
Sanctions. The fine may be fully or partially exempted if the
undertaking co-operates with the ComCo.
Competition Commission approves the
On August 21, 2008, the ComCo approved the proposed acquisition
by Heineken of the drinks business of Eichhof Holding.
The ComCo held that they were no indications that the
concentration might create or strengthen a dominant position of the
Heineken/Eichhof group. It further held that the merger could not
lead to the market being collectively dominated by Heineken/Eichhof
and the biggest Swiss brewery, Carlsberg/Feldschlösschen. The
investigation revealed that there would still be sufficient
competition in the local and regional beer markets after the
takeover. It also revealed that there are no significant barriers...