South Korea's anti-trust agency has fined drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline three billion won ($2.6 million) for conspiring with a Seoul rival over the sale of drugs, an official said Monday.
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said GSK in 2000 offered Dong-A Pharmaceutical the exclusive right to sell its anti-nausea drug Zofran and an anti-viral medication called Valtrex.
In return, the FTC said the British-based multinational demanded that Dong-A stop selling a cheaper generic version of Zofran which the Seoul firm had introduced in 1998.
GSK also asked that Dong-A never produce or sell any drugs that could compete against Zofran and Valtrex, Kim Jun-Ha, a FTC official involved in the case, told AFP.
"With the cheaper generics made by Dong-A taken off the market, the financial burden on patients and on the government's health insurance budget has increased," Kim said.
The FTC said in a statement it estimated GSK had made wrongful gains of about 16 billion won. It said "the two firms shared benefits that were to go to consumers".
Dong-A was fined 2.1 billion won for the collusion, the agency added.