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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

ECA issues sharp warning against anti-competitive practices in pharma

** #7 ECA issues sharp warning against anti-competitive practices in pharma: The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) issued a not-so-veiled warning to pharma companies that forthcoming amendments to the Antitrust Act would “allow it to protect small- and medium- pharmacies from predatory collusion by larger players,” ECA head Amir Nabil (LinkedIn) said at a workshop on the law. He referenced the EGP 5.6 bn fine imposed by the Economic Court back in March on 13 executives from Ibnsina Pharma, United Co. for Pharmacists, Ramco Pharm, and Multipharma. All are accused of colluding to cut credit periods and slash discounts to small and medium sized pharmacies. The next hearing of Ibnsina’s appeal will take place on 19 November. The ECA statement (pdf) issued following the workshop gave no detail on the actual law itself.

Background: The ECA has been looking for some time to expand its powers through amendments to the Antitrust Act. The authority is seeking the right to sign-off on mergers worth more than EGP 100 mn. Nabil had said that the ECA was resurrecting plans to pass the amendments following reports that Uber and its regional rival Careem were engaged in merger talks.

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