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The European Commission announced on 1 March that it has closed its antitrust investigation in respect of alleged actions of the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Nycomed to delay the market entry of generic medicines in breach of both Arts 101 and 102 TFEU, which prohibit restrictive business practices. The investigation followed the Commission's unannounced inspections at the companies' premises in several Member States on 30 November 2010.
The pharmaceutical sector has been under constant and intense scrutiny form the Commission, which previously opened antitrust investigations against Servier, Lundbeck, Cephalon and Johnson and Johnson for possible breaches of competition rules, including practices involving generic companies. The Commission is particularly concerned about the significant harm that such breaches may inflict on consumers.