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Business Articles Awards > Procedure

Access to File under European Competition Law

Ingrid Vandenborre, Thorsten Goetz and Andreas Kafetzopoulos, Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, Vol. 6, pp. 747 - 756, December 2015

See Ingrid Vandenborre's resume See Thorsten C. Goetz's resume See Andreas Kafetzopoulos's resume

The EU Court has applied a presumption that the disclosure of documents gathered by the Commission in a cartel investigation undermines the investigation and the protection of the commercial interests of the companies involved.

Under certain conditions, it however remains possible for a cartel damage claimant to demonstrate that a particular document does not benefit from the presumption or that there is an overriding public interest in its disclosure.

For example, recent Court judgments have granted access to parts of a case file index that contain references to titles and submission dates of documents submitted in the context of leniency applications.

Even if the non-confidential version of a cartel decision has not been published, nothing prevents the Commission from communicating to damage claimants the parts of a cartel decision that are not subject to confidentiality requests.

The General Court endorses the Commission’s recent practice of including more information in the public version of its cartel decisions, and even re-issue a less redacted version of its decision once its finding has become definitive, including information sourced from leniency applications and redacted in a way that cannot be traced back to individual leniency applicants.

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