CASE COMMENTS: EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW – SPAIN - PROCEDURE – DAWN RAID – RIGHT TO THE INVIOLABILITY OF THE HOME

Spain: The Spanish Supreme Court annuls an unannounced inspection carried out by the Spanish Competition Authority, as the agents refused to reveal whether they held a judicial authorization, thus breaching the principles of loyalty, good faith and transparency required from the Administration and the undertakings during dawn raids, and introducing a flaw which annuls the consent obtained from the undertaking concerned (Repsol)

In a Judgement of 17 September 2018 (appeal n° 2922/2016), the Spanish Supreme Court has overturned the Judgement of 21 July 2016 of the Audiencia Nacional (appeal n° 482/2013) which had dismissed the appeal lodged by Repsol, S.A. against the decision of the former Spanish competition authority (the “CNC”) of 24 July 2013 dismissing an administrative appeal against the inspection carried out in its premises in May 2013, in the framework of a preliminary investigation procedure. Furthermore, the Supreme Court ruling annuls the dawn raid carried out by the CNC and declares that such inspection cannot produce any effect whatsoever and acknowledges Repsol’s right to have the documents seized in the inspection returned to it. The appeal stems from a preliminary investigation initiated by the

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Paloma Martínez-Lage Sobredo, Rafael Allendesalazar, Spain: The Spanish Supreme Court annuls an unannounced inspection carried out by the Spanish Competition Authority, as the agents refused to reveal whether they held a judicial authorization, thus breaching the principles of loyalty, good faith and transparency required from the Administration and the undertakings during dawn raids, and introducing a flaw which annuls the consent obtained from the undertaking concerned (Repsol), 17 September 2018, Concurrences Review N° 4-2018, Art. N° 88293, pp. 208-209

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