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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Court accepts Ibnsina’s appeal in antitrust case

Court accepts Ibnsina’s appeal in antitrust case: The Cairo Court of Appeals has agreed to hear Ibnsina Pharma’s appeal against an Economic Court ruling that fined the company, alongside three other pharma manufacturers, a combined EGP 5.6 bn fine for alleged antitrust violations, Al Borsa reports. A Cairo Economic Court on Wednesday had found that Ibnsina along with competitors United Co. for Pharmacists, Ramco Pharm, and Multipharma had colluded to cut credit periods and slash discounts to small and medium sized pharmacies. Some 13 executives from the companies, including United Co. Chairman Hussam Hussein, had been ordered to pay a combined EGP 1.2 bn, according to Akhbar El Youm (Al Borsa places the figure at EGP 520 mn).

The Cairo Economic Court verdict has been set aside pending the appeal, where the first hearing is scheduled for 19 May 2018.

The Background: The investigation, which the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) conducted back in 2015, was brought to court by the Prosecutor General in August of last year. The ECA said that the companies’ alleged actions had done harm to pharmacies, shrinking their profit margins and causing reduced supply of meds to the market.

The Economic Court also found 12 poultry companies guilty of market manipulation and anti-competitive practices as part of an ECA investigation back in 2013, Al Borsa reports. The companies, which have been collectively fined EGP 4.5 mn, had been accused by the ECA of conspiring to keep chicken prices artificially low, driving out smaller producers out of the market and restricting future supply. It was reported at the time that the companies included Al Daqahliyah Poultry, Cairo Poultry, Al Arabiya for Mother Chicken, and Al Watania Poultry.

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