Italian prosecutors open file on Roche, Novartis-judicial sources

ROME, March 5 Wed Mar 5, 2014 11:46am EST

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ROME, March 5 (Reuters) - Prosecutors in Rome have opened a file on Novartis and Roche after the Italian antitrust regulator fined the drug companies over alleged anti-competitive practices, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

However no formal investigation was underway and there was no suspicion of any criminal practice, the sources said.

On Wednesday the Italian regulator fined Novartis 92 million euros ($126.4 million) and Roche 90.5 million euros. It said they had struck an alliance to prevent Roche's Avastic being used to treat an eye disease in favour of the more expensive drug Lucentis made by Novartis. (Reporting by Mario Sarzanini; writing by Naomi O'Leary)

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