Siemens Healthineers Korea said Wednesday that it plans to file an administrative suit against the fine imposed by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for allegedly abusing its market dominant position.
According to the FTC, Siemens Healthineers provided a service key, used for the safety management and maintenance of CT and MRI, free of charge to companies that dealt solely with the company, while selling the service key to a hospital that hired independent maintenance companies.
The commission noted that the company provides the service key free of charge in the U.S. for all enterprises.
“Siemens Healthineers also sent exaggerated notices to hospitals explaining the dangers of doing business with independent maintenance providers in December 2014 and May 2015,” the FTC said in a statement.
The antitrust agency imposed a penalty of 6.2 billion won ($5.7 million) on Siemens, Siemens Healthcare, and Siemens Healthineers for violating the fair trade act. It also ordered the company to provide the service key to hospitals for free.
“The results of the deliberation by the FTC on the abuse of dominant market position by Siemens are not consistent with facts and cannot be accepted as it mistranslates the Fair Trade Act and also infringes upon intellectual property rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” Siemens Healthineers Korea said in a statement. “The company plans to file an administrative suit after receiving and reviewing the agency’s resolution letter.”
All property rights, based on the Constitution, must be legitimately reimbursed, and medical equipment maintenance service software is recognized as an intellectual property right under copyright law, the company added.
It also refuted the FTC’s claims that the company gives its maintenance software free of charge in the U.S.
“Siemens Healthcare Group implements the same paid maintenance software license policy globally and has not discriminated against small- to medium-sized maintenance companies in Korea,” the company said. “Therefore the company cannot accept the penalty, as the Fair Trade Act also guarantees the right of intellectual property owners to receive the license fee.”
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