Pharmaceuticals Remain Focus for Belgian Competition Authority in 2020
The Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) has just published its annual policy note which sets out its enforcement priorities for the year (see, attachments).
The pharmaceutical sector is once more one of the BCA’s principal targets for action and, as the BCA indicates, this is not different from an approach followed by other competition authorities around Europe. The BCA is known to be pursuing cases in the sector actively (see e.g., Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News alert of 8 October 2019). It also adopted several infringement decisions against a pharmacists’ association in 2019 (see e.g., Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News alerts of 5 June 2019, 24 June 2019 and 17 October 2019). Additionally, its chief prosecutor in competition matters had occasion to explain the BCA’s handling of the sector during a hearing of the federal Chamber of Representatives in October 2019 (https://www.dekamer.be/FLWB/PDF/55/0758/55K0758001.pdf).
Apart from the pharmaceutical sector and in line with previous years, the BCA will target distribution, logistics, service providers and telecommunications and will continue to monitor procurement matters. Finally, it will also tackle the digital economy.