A PYMNTS Company

Spain’s Competition Regulator Fines Merck

 |  October 25, 2022

Spain’s competition watchdog has slapped a 39 million-euro ($38.45 million) fine on US-based Merck for anti-competitive behaviour in a case brought by Spanish rival Insud Pharma over a contraception device.

The CNMC antitrust agency said in a statement on Tuesday Merck’s local unit, which had a monopoly on vaginal contraceptive rings in Spain between 2002 and 2018 with its Nuvaring device, prevented Insud Pharma in 2017 from marketing its own device through deceptive practices.

Read more: Merck In $40B Deal For Cancer Biotech SeaGen

Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), the official name of Merck & Co outside the United States and Canada obtained a court order barring Insud Pharma from manufacturing the devices in Spain, where it has all its operations, hence preventing sales all over the world, the CNMC said.

“MSD deployed a strategy of deception with the court, hiding relevant factual and technical information,” it said, calling it a very serious infringement that constituted an abuse of dominant position.