Competition: Advocate General recommends dismissal of Astra Zeneca appeal

Advocate General Mazak (the “AG”) has given an opinion on the appeal by AstraZeneca against a General Court (“GC”) judgment that largely upheld the Commission’s decision that fined AstraZeneca for abusive patent misuse. The AG rejected claims that the GC had erred in law in approving the Commission’s market definition. He also considered that the GC had not erred in law in upholding the Commission’s findings that AstraZeneca had abused its dominant position by making misleading representations to patent offices and by withdrawing marketing authorizations in order to delay generic entry. In particular, he confirmed that evidence of AstraZeneca’s subjective beliefs were not relevant. It was also not relevant that a company is entitled under applicable laws to withdraw its marketing authorizations. Further, the anti-competitive effects of the abuse had been demonstrated to the requisite standard. In addition, the AG concluded that there was no basis for the fine imposed on AstraZeneca to be further reduced. Source: Case C-457/10P, AstraZeneca plc v European Commission, Opinion of Advocate General Mazak, 15 May 2012

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd. - Sweden