by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | September 19, 2023
The European Commission is investigating a cardiovascular medical device company suspected of breaking European Union antitrust rules.
The executive branch of the EU has initiated unannounced inspections at the company site but has not named it or revealed where it resides in the EU. Officials from the national competition authority of the member state joined the Commission during the inspections.
“The Commission has concerns that the inspected company may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit abuses of a dominant market position," said the EU competition enforcer in a statement.
While the company’s specific violations were not named, the alleged abuse violates Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Under it, abuse in this regard may include directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices and trading conditions; limiting production, markets, or technical development based on consumer bias; applying dissimilar conditions for equivalent transactions with other trading parties to create competitive disadvantages; and completing contracts by requiring individuals or groups to complete supplementary obligations that are in no way connected to the subject of the contracts.
Because there is no legal deadline for when anticompetitive investigations need to be completed, the duration of the inspections will depend on the complexity of the case, the extent to which companies involved cooperate with the EC, and the parties’ exercise of their rights to defense, among other factors.
But those found guilty could face fines of up to 10% of their global turnover
for infringing EU antitrust laws, reported Reuters.
The EC says that unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigative step and do not guarantee that the company is guilty of anticompetitive behavior. They also do not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.