Chemists fined for trying to obstruct budget rival

The Order of Chemists, the professional body of Belgian chemists, has been told to pay a one million euro fine.  The competition authorities say the organisation attempted to keep the pharmaceuticals’ chain MediCare-Market out of the market.

MediCare-Market that runs Medi-Market complained to the competition authorities and accused the order of obstructing the company’s growth and trying to exclude it from the market. The competition authorities have now ruled in the company’s favour.

The competition authorities noted that the market for chemists’ services is one with little price competition and that the entry of new players should enhance competition.

MediCare-Market has some 30 stores in Belgium with long opening hours and big reductions.  The Order of Chemists wanted to oblige the chain to observe minimum prices, but that is against trading rules.