Key facts of the case:
Competition — Agreements, decisions and concerted practices — Market for antidepressant medicinal products containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient citalopram — Concept of restriction of competition ‘by object’ — Potential competition — Generic medicinal products — Barriers to market entry resulting from the existence of patents — Agreements concluded between a patent holder and a generic undertaking — Error of law — Error of assessment — Rights of defence — Fines
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
THE GENERAL COURT (Ninth Chamber) hereby:
- Dismisses the action;
- Orders Generics (UK) Ltd to pay the costs.
- In addition, account must be taken of the non-negligible stigma attached to a finding of involvement in an infringement of the competition rules for a natural or legal person (see judgment in CISAC v Commission, cited in paragraph 76 above, EU:T:2013:188, paragraph 95 and the case-law cited).
- It must be recalled that observance of the rights of the defence is a fundamental right of EU law, enshrined in Article 41(2)(a) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which requires that the rights of the defence be observed in all proceedings (see judgment of 17 December 2014 in Pilkington Group and Others v Commission, T-72/09, EU:T:2014:1094, paragraph 232 and the case-law cited).