‘Product hopping’, or ‘evergreening’, are expressions used (by antitrust authorities and industry respectively) to describe strategies employed by pharmaceutical companies to protect sales of a successful drug on the verge of losing patent protection. For example, a pharmaceutical company might introduce a new formulation of the drug before it faces significant competition from a generic…

The approach to access to file and who can receive what information can deviate by jurisdiction which can be particularly relevant in international antitrust cases. The ongoing Qualcomm case is a good example for that. Qualcomm is currently under investigation by several competition authorities, allegedly refusing to licence standard essential cellular patents to competitors on…

“Improper and plainly undermines legal certainty and the rule of law.”  This is how four U.S. senators – including the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee – recently described the European Commission’s State aid investigation into tax rulings by Member States, including into Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple. Of course the…

The proceedings brought by the European Commission against Google are nearing a – provisional – end with the prospect of a decision making binding on Google a revised set of commitments (see here for the Commission statement and here for the full text of the proposed commitments). Independently of their merits in addressing the Commission’s…

Over the course of July and August, private practitioners and members of DG COMP alike leave Brussels for a few well-deserved weeks of holiday rest and recuperation.  What  reading material should the discerning competition specialist take to the beach this Summer?  He/she could do worse than District Judge Cote’s Opinion in United States of America…

On 16 July 2012, a U.S. appeals court issued a decision holding that pharmaceutical patent settlements that restrict generic entry and contain a payment to the generic company are presumptively unlawful under the U.S. antitrust laws.  The decision is a major victory for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s view of pharmaceutical patent settlements with so-called…

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has recently released two reports relating to the pharmaceutical industry. A significant theme in both reports is a concern that brand name pharmaceutical companies are using the threat of launching an authorized generic to make deals that delay generic entry. These reports shine a spotlight on the interplay between authorized…

Public discussion on merger control in the last few years of has put the spotlight on two elements of contemporary merger analysis: market definition and market concentration, of which the former has raised considerable debate, in particular. It has been asked if market definition has de facto become superfluous to merger analysis due to some…

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has issued a report analyzing the U.S. patent system from a competition policy perspective. The FTC recognizes that, like the competitive process fostered by competition law, the right to exclude provided by the intellectual property laws is intended to promote innovation and thereby benefit consumers. The FTC believes, however,…

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to curb the use of so-called “most favored nation”  (MFN) agreements — a common business practice that the DOJ believes can sometimes result in anticompetitive effects when entered into by a dominant firm.  In October of last year, the DOJ commenced an action against Blue Cross Blue…