Procedural rights and obligations of third parties in antitrust investigations and proceedings by the European Commission

This paper provides a systematic overview of the procedural rights and obligations of third parties in investigations and proceedings conducted by the European Commission for the enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. Third parties are all natural or legal persons, undertakings, and associations of undertakings other than those under investigation. The paper examines the possibilities for third parties to inform the European Commission about a suspected infringement and to trigger an investigation by the European Commission; the obligations and rights of third parties when responding to requests for information sent to them by the European Commission, when participating in interviews, and when submitting to inspections conducted by the European Commission; the possibilities for third parties to obtain information about pending proceedings and to express their views in them; the rules on the use of languages; and the protection of business secrets and other confidential information, and the restrictions on the use of information obtained by third parties through their participation in the European Commission’s proceedings.

I. Introduction 1. This paper provides a systematic overview of the procedural rights and obligations of third parties in investigations and proceedings conducted by the European Commission for the enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). 2. Article 101 TFEU prohibits agreements between undertakings and decisions by associations of undertakings that may affect trade between EU Member States and restrict competition without redeeming virtue. Article 102 TFEU prohibits any abuse by one or more undertakings of a dominant position within the EU internal market or in a substantial part of it in so far as it may affect trade between EU Member States. [1] 3. The main implementing regulation of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, adopted on

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  • King’s College (London)

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Wouter Wils, Procedural rights and obligations of third parties in antitrust investigations and proceedings by the European Commission, May 2022, Concurrences N° 2-2022, Art. N° 106136, www.concurrences.com

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