Cartels – French market for analysis of clinical biology

Judgment

T-90/11

10.12.2014

Parties

Jurisdiction

Formation

Judge Rapporteur

Advocate General

Subject-matter

Action for annulment

Ordre national des pharmaciens and Others

v

Commission

General Court

9th Chamber

O. Czùcz

/

Cartels – Agreements between undertakings

Keywords

Competition – Cartels – French market for analysis of clinical biology – Decision finding infringement of Article 101 TFEU – Association of undertakings – Industry body – Object of inspection and investigation – Conditions of application of Article 101 TFEU – Infringement by object – Minimal price and damage to the development of laboratory groups – Single and continuous infringement – Evidence – Errors of factual and legal assessment – Amount of fine – Paragraph 37 of 2006 Fining Guidelines – Full jurisdiction

Significant points

The General Court confirmed the Commission’s decision to find that a French professional association representing pharmacists (ONP) had infringed Article 101 TFEU.The General Court agreed with the Commission that the ONP had to comply with competition law. Competition rules applied to it as an association bringing together pharmacists, who are undertakings for the purposes of EU competition law. In this regard, the ONP was not a public authority exercising regulatory powers and its conduct went beyond what it was entitled or requested to do under French law.The ONP’s conduct violated Article 101 TFEU because it conspired to impede the actions of groups of laboratories on the market, which may have increased competition, and it imposed a minimum price policy stopping laboratories from granting discounts of more than 10%. The General Court rejected ONP’s argument that it was merely implementing French law.

Noteworthy