15 October 2010
Reckitt Benckinser accepts £10.2m fine for abuse of dominance
International company Reckitt Benckinser (RB) has accepted a fine of more than £10 million for breaching UK competition laws.
The Slough-based group - which maintains operations in more than 60 countries across the world - has admitted infringing both UK and EU regulations on fair competition by withdrawing a brand of medicine from availability through NHS prescriptions in 2005.
In February this year, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a statement of objections to RB with regards to its actions after finding that the firm had taken packs of Gaviscon Original Liquid out of the country's prescription channel after the product's patent had expired but before a generic name for it had been published.
This therefore put consumers in a position whereby more prescription requests were made for the medicine - Gaviscon Advance Liquid - designed to supersede this which was protected by a patent so could not be distributed elsewhere.
OFT subsequently charged RB with a penalty for abuse of dominance and originally fined the firm £12 million, but this was then reduced to £10.2 million after the company showed willingness to cooperate fully with the body's investigations.
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Posted by Daniel Stevens