April 3, 2024

European Commission investigates Zoetis for possible anti-competitive conduct

On March 26, 2024, the European Commission launched an antitrust investigation into Zoetis, a global animal health company based in the United States.  The Commission is investigating whether the company might have abused its dominant position “by preventing the market launch of a competing novel biologic medicine used to treat chronic pain in dogs” in violation of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) and Article 54 of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) Agreement.

The Commission reported that Librela, a medication developed by Zoetis, is the first and only monoclonal antibody medication approved in Europe to treat pain in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis and similar ailments.  According to the Commission, Zoetis acquired another pain medication that was being developed in parallel with Librela that an unnamed third party had planned to market in the European Economic Area (“EEA”).  The Commission launched an investigation to assess whether Zoetis engaged in exclusionary behavior when it terminated the development of the “alternative pipeline product” and refused to transfer it to a third party that had exclusive commercialization rights in the EEA.

European Commission Press Release