European Court of First Instance (CFI) Partly Annuls European Commission’s Decision in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

On 27 September 2006, in a long-awaited judgment, the European Court of First Instance (CFI) partly annulled a 2001 decision of the European Commission finding that GSK’s General Sales Conditions to its wholesalers in Spain infringed Article 81(1) EC (equivalent of Section 1 of the Sherman Act) and denying GSK an exemption under Article 81(3) EC. According to the CFI, the Commission erred in considering only the short-term, price-impact issues in its analysis in EC competition law while ruling out consideration of the issues raised by GSK as to the longer-term, anti-competitive impact on innovation of parallel traders’ price arbitrage.

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