A PYMNTS Company

EU: EC issues new guidance to facilitate access to Commission files

 |  December 12, 2018

The European Commission has published two new guidance documents to facilitate access to the Commission’s files on a case, by companies subject to antitrust proceedings.

Companies’ access to the information that the Commission is looking at during an investigation is a fundamental procedural step in antitrust cases. It allows the companies that receive Statements of Objections to ensure their rights of defense.

The first document published Wednesday, December 12, contains guidance and templates for the use of voluntary “confidentiality rings” for access to file purposes. A confidentiality ring is a negotiated disclosure procedure through which a restricted circle of individuals is given access to confidential information contained in the Commission’s file. Confidentiality rings facilitate the access to file procedure for companies subject to investigation, third parties and the Commission, protecting both the rights of defense and confidential information and speeding up the access to file procedure.

The second document published Wednesday, December 12, is an updated version of the 2012 guidance document on business secrets and other confidential information. It provides up-to-date case law references and improved practical information for companies claiming confidentiality in antitrust proceedings.

These two new documents are part of the Commission’s continued work to increase the transparency of competition procedures and guarantee due process and companies’ rights of defense. In 2015, the Commission published Best Practices on Data Rooms as well as Guidance on confidentiality claims for the process of preparing public versions of its decisions. In 2016, it also published Recommendations for the use of electronic document submissions.

Full Content: Europa Press

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.