Procedural infringement

“The European Commission has opened a formal investigation under EC Treaty antitrust procedural rules into whether sanofi-aventis SA obstructed illegally an inspection of its premises in January 2008. The proceedings centre on sanofi-aventis’ refusal to let inspectors examine and copy relevant documents until the French authorities produced a national search warrant. The inspection formed part of the competition inquiry on the pharmaceutical sector” sais the press release of the European Commission.

E.ON has been fined for 38 million EUR for breach of sealing (see here) previously.  

I can imagine that the European Commission will be especially harsh on such issues, since a lenient approach would backfire in future investigations.

Although not exactly the same issue is covered, there is a good article on the investigations of the European Commission at national level in European Competition Law Review: Francesco Rizutto, Paralell Competence and the Power of the EC Commission under Regulation 1/2003 According to the Court of First Instance, E.C.L.R. 2008/5.

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