Reckitt Benckiser: alleged abuse of a dominant position

Office of Fair Trading (OFT) closed Competition Act 1998 case.

No. CE/8931/08

The OFT has found that Reckitt Benckiser abused its dominant position in the market for the NHS supply of alginate and antacid heartburn medicines, in breach of the Chapter II prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The OFT found that Reckitt Benckiser abused its dominant position by withdrawing and de-listing Gaviscon Original Liquid from the NHS prescription channel in 2005.

Summary of work

In November 2008, the OFT opened a formal investigation into allegations that Reckitt Benckiser had abused a dominant position. These allegations were brought to the OFT's attention by a report on BBC Newsnight television programme.

On 23 February 2010 the OFT issued a Statement of Objections alleging that Reckitt Benckiser abused its dominant position in the market for the NHS supply of alginate and antacid heartburn medicines.

On 15 October 2010 the OFT announced that it had reached an early resolution agreement with Reckitt Benckiser, which had admitted infringing UK and European competition law and agreed to pay a penalty of £10.2 million.

On 13 April 2011, the OFT announced its decision, imposing a penalty of £10.2 million on Reckitt Benckiser.

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