The European Commission, together with the Belgian antitrust authority, conducted unannounced inspections at Belgian branches of veterinary pharmaceutical company, Zoetis.
The Commission says the inspected company may have infringed the EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant position.
Zoetis is the world’s largest animal health pharmaceutical company in terms of turnover, according to the most recent figures (for 2019) from platform Statista. The US company, which is active worldwide, produces veterinary medicines and vaccines for both farm animals and companion animals.
Zoetis confirms that unannounced inspections have taken place at sites in Zaventem and Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. At the first location, there is an office from which the European activities are coordinated. Louvain-la-Neuve has a production site where the company produces both vaccines and pharmaceuticals.
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The company did not answer questions about why the Commission would investigate them. A spokesperson said they will cooperate fully with the investigation and await further conclusions. It is unknown when that will follow.
The Commission states that there is no legal deadline within which investigations by cartel authorities must be completed. In addition, the European Commission emphasises that the fact that inspections are carried out does not mean that a company is actually guilty of violations. The unannounced inspections are a first step in the event of suspected infringement of competition rules.