The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Novartis unit Sandoz agrees to pay $195 million to resolve antitrust charges. Novartis’ generic drugs unit Sandoz has agreed to pay $195 million to reach a deferred prosecution agreement aimed at resolving antitrust charges, the Justice Department said. The company was charged with rigging bids and fixing prices of more than $500 million worth of generic drugs between 2013-2015, said the department, which has been probing the generic drug industry for three years. U.S. drug pricing has become a political issue in recent years amid complaints that some drugs, including medicines on the market for decades, have seen sharp price increases.
EU’s Vestager to set out plans to tackle China’s state-backed firms. European Union regulators will in June set out proposals to tackle Chinese state-backed companies enjoying an unfair advantage versus their European counterparts, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Monday, following calls from Germany and France. Germany and France have led calls to EU antitrust regulators to do more to secure a level playing field for European companies competing with Chinese firms. Last month, the two countries together with Italy and Poland urged Vestager to come up with proposals to revamp EU antitrust rules by the end of June.
Vodafone, TIM win conditional EU approval for tower deal. Vodafone and Telecom Italia (TIM) on Friday secured conditional EU antitrust approval to create Europe’s biggest mobile towers company, part of a strategy to roll out lucrative 5G services. The European Commission said Vodafone and Tim will make available to rivals 4,000 towers in cities with more than 35,000 people as part of concessions to address competition concerns, confirming a Reuters report on Thursday.