By way of a July 19 2017 order, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) dismissed claims against Sanofi India Limited for alleged abuse of its dominant position.(1)

The claimant alleged that Sanofi had abused its dominant position in the market of drugs and pharmaceutical products through its practices of, among other things, irregularly supplying medicine in the guise of various formalities and documents, and demanding that documents (eg, third-party due diligence) be carried out by an independent agency.

The claimant stated that third-party due diligence had not been followed by any horizontally placed global companies; therefore, the process had been unfair and in violation of the Competition Act. Sanofi argued that it had a comprehensive evaluation process for the appointment of distributors involving the verification of retail coverage, financial strength, cold-chain infrastructure and third-party due diligence, which are necessary formalities before appointing a distributor.

The CCI examined data provided by the Royal Bank of India's Industrial Outlook survey, which revealed that there were more than 200 companies in the business of drugs and pharmaceutical products in India. Of these, Sanofi ranked 18th in terms of market share, with 1.08% market share. Further, the CCI stated that aside from Sanofi, a number of reputed firms had a greater market share and goodwill in the market, including Cipla Ltd, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, Sun Pharmaceutical Inds Ltd, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Sun Pharma Laboratories Ltd.

The CCI found that Sanofi enjoyed no dominant position and therefore held that there was no prima facie case to investigate its alleged conduct.

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For further information on this topic please contact MM Sharma at Vaish Associates by telephone (+91 11 4249 2525) or email (mmsharma@vaishlaw.com). The Vaish Associates website can be accessed at www.vaishlaw.com.

Endnotes

(1) CCI decision, July 19 2017. For the full text please see the CCI website.