Judgment of the Tribunal in relation to an appeal against a decision of the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) entitled “Nortriptyline Tablets (Information Exchange) – Case 50507.2” issued on 4 March 2020 (“the Decision”).
In the Decision, the CMA found that four undertakings including Lexon (UK) Limited (“Lexon”) had infringed the prohibition imposed by section 2(1) of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The CMA imposed a penalty of £1,220,383 on Lexon.
Lexon filed a notice of appeal with the Tribunal on 11 May 2020 raising three grounds of appeal.
On 27 August 2020, the CMA issued proceedings in the High Court seeking a Competition Disqualification Order against Mr Pritesh Sonpal of Lexon pursuant to section 9A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (“CDDA 1986”) (“the CDDA Claim”). On 15 September 2020 the High Court (Marcus Smith J) made an order, pursuant to Regulation 2 of The Section 16 Enterprise Act 2002 Regulations 2015, transferring the First Condition of the CDDA Claim as defined by section 9A CDDA 1986 (“the First Condition”) to the Tribunal so that it could be heard and determined alongside Lexon’s appeal.
For the reasons set out in the judgment, the Tribunal unanimously rejected Lexon’s appeal and upheld the CMA’s decision to impose a penalty of £1,220,383. In summary the Tribunal:
1. rejected Ground 1 and found that the CMA had correctly applied the law on infringement by object and was justified in finding that the exchanges of
information it had identified constituted, by their content and nature, a concerted practice with the object of restricting competition; and
2. rejected Ground 3 in relation to the penalty imposed by the CMA.
Ground 2 (an assertion that Lexon was not party to a single and continuous infringement) was not pursued at trial by Lexon.
The Tribunal also unanimously determined that the First Condition of the CDDA Claim was fulfilled.
This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.