United Kingdom

On behalf of the team

On 10 May 2021, the CAT upheld the CMA decision issued in 2016 to the effect that GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) made payments aimed at delaying the potential entry of Paroxetine, which is relied on by patients to relieve symptoms of depression, in settlement of patent litigation.[1] The CMA found these payments to be in breach of competition law and imposed fines totalling £44.99 million on the companies involved. The companies appealed the decision. The CAT dismissed a number of grounds back in March 2018 and referred the remaining grounds to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling on various questions of EU law. In January 2020, the CJEU confirmed that these ‘pay for delay’ agreements are in breach of competition law and may constitute an abuse of a dominant position. In the decision of 10 May 2021, the CAT dismissed all remaining grounds of appeal of the companies’ against the CMA decision, opening the door for parties seeking follow-on damages.

[1] CMA Press release, ‘CAT upholds infringement decision for pay for delay pharma deals’, 10 May 2021.