December 3, 2020

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has refused to comment on its investigation into an alleged international cartel involving the sale of scopolamine. contacted the ACCC after a reader raised allegations that at least four other companies in Australia could be involved in illegal activities.

However, an ACCC spokesperson said as charges involving Alkaloids of Australia were now before the court, the ACCC was unable to comment further on this investigation.

On September 16 last year, the Swiss Competition Commission (WEKO) began an investigation into the manufacture and distribution of scopolamine – which is derived from duboisia – after allegations that various companies had made price and territorial agreements.

“Specifically, there are indications that the companies kept the sales prices of this active ingredient high and that the markets were divided up according to regions. As part of the investigation, it must be checked whether there are actually inadmissible restraints of competition,” a media release from WEKO at the time stated.

The following month, Swiss newspaper Handelszeitung reported that WEKO and the European Union Cartel Office were investigating 11 companies – three Swiss, three German, three Indian and one each from Luxembourg and Australia.

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