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ACCC v Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd

[2015] FCA 113 (25 February 2015)

 

Overview

The ACCC appealed the Federal Court decision in Pfizer. See ACCC press release. The hearing was conducted from 23-27 November 2015. Judgment has been reserved. See my appeal page for further details.

Image of formula of atorvastatin/Lipitor (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atorvastatin.svg)The ACCC alleged misuse of market power and exclusive dealing in relation to Pfizer's supply of atorvastatin to pharmacies.

Justice Flick dismissed the ACCC's application and awarded costs to the Pfizer.

  • In relation to the misuse of market power claim, the ACCC failed to establish that Pfizer pursued its course of conduct "for the purpose of deterring or preventing a person from engaging in competitive conduct" (and further that, in relation to post-2012 conduct Pfizer did not have 'substantial' market power)
  • In relation to exclusive dealing, the ACCC failed to establish that Pfizer pursued its course of conduct for the purpose of 'substantially lessening competition

 

Media and commentary

Media and commentary on appeal

Media and commentary on trial decision

ACCC press releases

ACCC, 'ACCC takes action against Pfizer Australia for alleged anti-competitive conduct' (13 February 2014)

ACCC, 'Federal Court dismisses anti-competitive conduct case against Pfizer Australia' (25 February 2015)

Law firm summaries and analysis

Clayton Utz

Gilbert + Tobin

Herbert Smith Freehills

Johnson Winter & Slattery

King&Wood Mallesons

Minter Ellison

Piper Alderman

'ACCC v Pfizer – Judgment summary and ramifications' (27 February 2015)

Other media and commentary

James Lawrence, Alisha Jung and Leonora Tyers, 'Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd' (2015) 31(2) Competition and Consumer Law News 21

Leo Shanahan, 'Pfizer court win on Lipitor a blow for ACCC' (The Australian, 26 February 2015)

Melissa Davey, 'Court dismisses case accusing Pfizer Australia of anti-competitive conduct' (The Guardian, 25 February 2015)

Thomas Faunce, 'Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Pfizer: Evergreening and market power as a blockbuser drug goes off patent' (2015) 22(4) Journal of Law and Medicine 771

James Lawrence and Alisha Jung, 'ACCC v Pfizer: a bitter pill?' (2014) 30(8&9) Competition and Consumer Law News 105

Simon Thomsen, 'ACCC loses misuse of market power case against Pfizer over cholesterol lowering drug' (Business Insider Australia, 25 February 2015).

Government media release (The Hon Bruce Billson MP), 'Government to keep a close eye on misuse of market power case' (13 February 2014)

Marianna Papadakis, 'ACCC: Pfizer stemmed sales' (The Australian Financial Review, 10 October 2014, page 32)

Suiya Zhang, 'Market power in pharmaceutical antitrust cases - Australia's approach contrasted' (2015) 31(3&4) Competition and Consumer Law News 56-59

 

Case links