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Access to File under European Competition Law

Ingrid Vandenborre et al., Online Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, 2016

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

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In the cement cartel case, the Court of Justice set aside a General Court judgment and held that Commission requests for information in antitrust investigations must disclose in their statement of reasons clearly and unequivocally the suspicions of infringement which justify their adoption and enable the addressees of the requests to determine whether the requested information is necessary for the purposes of the investigation. In the hydrogen peroxide cartel case, the Court of Justice allowed the interim relief sought by an appellant and addressee of the Commission cartel decision asking for the suspension of the publica-tion by the Commission of a more detailed non-confidential version on the basis that the informa-tion to be disclosed had been provided as part of a leniency application and constituted confidential information or business secrets. Other jurisprudence (car glass cartel) makes clear that information provided in the course of leniency proceedings is not necessarily considered prima facie confidential for the purposes of the urgency test for interim relief merely for forming part of a leniency application, and that interim relief appli-cants need to argue that the information at stake is of a confidential nature or constitutes business secrets in order to support their claim that disclos-ure could cause serious and irreparable harm.

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