Lundbeck files appeal of antitrust fine, citing errors by European Commission

Lundbeck announced Monday the filing of an appeal against the European Commission's decision earlier this year to fine the company 93.8 million euros ($123.9 million) for delaying market entry of generic versions of the antidepressant Celexa (citalopram). "We remain appalled over the decision, which errs in a number of highly important aspects," remarked Mette Carlstedt, senior vice president, corporate legal at Lundbeck.

In its appeal to the European General Court, the drugmaker is seeking to have the ruling annulled or the fine reduced, claiming that the European Commission incorrectly misinterpreted "the main criterion to determine whether an agreement restricts potential competition as established in case law and ignores key facts of the case." Lundbeck also claims that the Commission's decision "contains manifest errors regarding its assessment of value transfers in the context of patent settlement agreements."

The company added that the Commission also "errs in law by imposing a fine on Lundbeck despite the novelty of the factual and legal issues raised in this case." Lundbeck noted that it expects a decision on the appeal within two to three years, although it could be up to six years before a final ruling is reached. Lundbeck said it is still obligated to pay the fine and will do so during the third quarter.

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