The Competition Commission has sent issues letters to the main parties in its monopoly inquiry into the supply of prescription-only veterinary medicines within the UK.
The Competition Commission considers that a scale monopoly situation may exist in favour of National Veterinary Services Ltd (NVS), a subsidiary of Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, which appears to supply at least one quarter of the services as defined in the terms of reference.
This finding does not imply the existence of any facts which operate or might be expected to operate against the public interest; it will be considered in the next stages of the inquiry.
The Competition Commission is not yet in a position at this stage to provisionally conclude that any complex monopoly situations exist among the suppliers involved in the inquiry, i.e. whether there is any conduct by some manufacturers, veterinary wholesalers or veterinary surgeons which prevents, restricts or distorts competition, but has identified a number of practices which it wishes to consider in forming a view as to the possible existence of any such situation.
The complete statement of issues may be obtained from the Competition Commission web site: www.competition-commission.org.uk or, in writing, from the Reference Secretary (Veterinary Medicines), Competition Commission, Room 565, New Court, 48 Carey Street, London, WC2A 2JT.
More details next week.