Advocate General Suggests EC Competition Law Prevents a Dominant Undertaking From Reducing Customary Supplies in Order to Restrict Parallel Trade

May 20, 2008

Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer rendered his opinion in Joined Cases C-468/06 to C-478/06 Sot. Lélos Kai Sia EE (and Others) v GlaxoSmithKline AEVE in the context of a preliminary reference to the European Court of Justice requesting clarification on the application of Article 82 EC to a dominant undertaking’s reduction in customary sales to Greek wholesalers aimed at restricting parallel trade. Advocate General Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer advised the Court to qualify the reduction as abusive, contrary to Advocate General Jacobs’s opinion in Case C-53/03 Syfait and Others (“Syfait”), who advised that the same conduct could be objectively justified in light of the highly regulated nature of the pharmaceutical sector.