Authors
Marco Hartmann-Rüppel

Dr. Marco Hartmann-Rüppel, Dipl.-Volkswirt

Partner

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Stephan Manuel Nagel

Stephan Manuel Nagel, LL.M. (EUI)

Partner

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Authors
Marco Hartmann-Rüppel

Dr. Marco Hartmann-Rüppel, Dipl.-Volkswirt

Partner

Read More
Stephan Manuel Nagel

Stephan Manuel Nagel, LL.M. (EUI)

Partner

Read More

24 March 2020

Manufacturers and distributors of medical products increasingly in the focus of the competition authorities

On 23 March 2020, all European competition authorities that are organized in the European Competition Network (ECN) issued a joint statement available via this link. The statement in particular addresses producers and distributors of products that are considered essential in the current situation to protect the health of consumers (for example, but not limited to, face masks and disinfectants).

These companies are currently in the particular focus of competition authorities that intend to avoid agreements infringing competition law or the abuse of a dominant market position (e.g. excessive prices, refusals to supply, unequal treatment of customers, etc.).

In this context, the ECN also draws attention to the fact that the existing competition rules generally (but not always) allow manufacturers to set maximum retail prices for their products. This could currently prove useful in order to prevent unjustified price increases at the distribution level.

The joint statement at the same time also highlights that the extraordinary situation may trigger the need for companies to cooperate in order to ensure the supply and fair distribution of scarce products to all consumers and that the authorities will not actively intervene against necessary and temporary measures put in place in order to avoid a shortage of supply. In case of doubts, the affected companies can approach the competition authorities for informal guidance.

In case of any questions in this regard or regarding competition law in general, please do not hesitate to contact our competition law experts Dr. Marco Hartmann-Rüppel and Stephan Manuel Nagel.

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