Bayer Vital GmbH offices in Cologne and Leverkusen were the subject of a “dawn raid” by the German competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt (BKA) on October 11, 2007. The BKA suspects Bayer of fixing the price of Bayer products sold in German pharmacies. The BKA has cited Bayer’s alleged practice of granting additional rebates to German pharmacies for adhering to Bayer’s recommended resale prices.
All pharmaceutical companies must be prepared for dawn raids and be alerted to the fact that dawn raids and cartel investigations in Europe are not limited to anti-competitive agreements between competitors. Cartel investigations in Europe can also arise out of alleged anti-competitive relationships between suppliers and distributors/retailers. Sanctions for anti-competitive vertical agreements can be serious in Europe.