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Antitrust: Commission carries out unannounced inspections in the medical devices sector

The European Commission is carrying out unannounced inspections at the premises of a company active in medical devices for cardiovascular applications.

The Commission has concerns that the inspected company may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit abuses of a dominant market position (Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the national competition authority of the Member State where the inspection was carried out.

Unannounced inspections are a preliminary investigative step into suspected anticompetitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the company in question is guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself. The Commission respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of companies to be heard in antitrust proceedings.

There is no legal deadline to complete inquiries into anticompetitive conduct. Their duration depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of each case, the extent to which the companies concerned co-operate with the Commission and the parties’ exercise of their rights of defence.

Source European Commission - Sep 19, 23