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KEYCODE BAYER #211

AFX News Limited, October 14, 2005

Portugal regulator fines Abbott, Bayer, others for price fixing

Portugal's antitrust regulator said it had fined five major US and European drug companies a total of 16 mln eur for working together to artificially fix prices.

The five firms -- Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson of the United States, Germany's Bayer AG, Italy's Menarini Diagnosticos and Switzerland's Pharmaceutica Quimica -- formed a cartel during 36 bidding processes to supply 22 hospitals in Portugal, it said. The goal of the companies was to 'prevent, restrict or falsify in a significant way competition by fixing prices', the competition authority said in a statement.

Abbott Laboratories was hit with the largest fine, 6.8 mln eur, for 34 infractions while Johnson & Johnson, which cooperated with antitrust regulator in its investigation, received the smallest fine, it added. The firm will have to pay 360,000 eur for 36 infractions. The antitrust regulator opened its investigation after a public hospital in Coimbra, Portugal's third-largest city, complained that the five firms had all proposed the same price for the same drug.

more cases that Bayer is involved into:

EU sends 'statement of objections' in synthetic rubber cartel inquiry

Former leaders of Bayer AG indicted

Bayer Unit to Pay $33 Mln Fine, Plead to Price Fixing

Bayer to Pay $66 Mln to Settle Price Fixing Charge

EUROPEAN COMMISSION FINES FIVE COMPANIES IN CITRIC ACID CARTEL

European Commission investigating chemical firms on suspicion of price fixing