Servier Cleared Of Deception Charges From EU Regulators
The European Commission has dropped the charges against Servier, a French independent pharmaceutical company, which accused the French company of providing “misleading and incorrect information” as part of a high-profile review of the pharmaceuticals sector and practices to postpone the market entry of generic drugs.
In July 2010, the European Commission sent a ‘statement of objections’ under EU antitrust rules to Servier, announcing that they had proof that the organisation had submitted incorrect information in reply to a competition sector review which started in January 2008 and concluded in July 2009.
The Commission had announced that if Servier “intentionally or negligently” submitted misleading data, the Commission may enforce a fine of up to 1% of total turnover for the privately-held company; Servier’s annual sales are approximately 3.6 billion euros.
However, the European Commission has now announced that “in its reply to the statement of objections Servier put forward various arguments as to why the information it supplied was neither misleading nor incorrect.” As a result, the Commission has decided to drop the charges, “and instead focus on the substantive enforcement of competition rules in a number of pending cases, including one involving Servier.”
Servier spokeswoman, Lucy Vincent, informed Bloomberg that the decision confirms the firm’s position “and contradicts the allegations of dissimulation that were made against the group at the time”.
In July 2009, the European Commission opened a case against Servier and a number of other organisations for alleged breaches of the rules on restrictive agreements and on the abuse of a dominant market position. This investigation into these cases is still presently on-going.