The power to conduct inspections at companies’ premises and homes constitutes one of the most powerful enforcement tools of the European Commission. Inspection can also be coordinated at the European and international levels when several authorities investigate the same international cartels, as well as when the suspected participants have their main offices abroad.
Inspections entail high risks for the companies and individuals concerned, and not only because they could ultimately lead to an infringement decision. Private life and legal privilege issues will necessarily arise and appropriate measures need to be implemented to reduce the risk of obstruction.
Against this backdrop Nathalie Jalabert-Doury presents an in-depth analysis of the legal and practical aspects of competition inspections under EU law to provide lawyers willing to prepare upstream as well as those facing such an inspection with a clear understanding of the procedures involved and steps to be taken.
The author lays out the two main regimes of antitrust enquiries under Regulation 1/2003: inspections carried out on the basis of a Commission decision (Article 20(4)), and those operated on the basis of an authorization (Article 20 (3)). For each regime, she describes the entire course of an inspection in chronological order and with extreme precision. Specific inspection procedures are also discussed separately, as well as inspections based on cooperation mechanisms through the European Competition Network.
Enriched by the author’s vast experience on the topic, the book is a necessary and essential guide for competition law practitioners faced with an EU inspection. It is a must-have title for enforcers, judges, in-house counsels and lawyers alike.
This is the second volume in this series. The first volume provides a Practitioner’s Guide dedicated to French Competition Inspections.