The Commission has published the final version of its best practice guidelines (the Guidelines) on the conduct of antitrust proceedings. The aim is to provide participants in antitrust proceedings with a clear overview of the procedures.
There have been revisions and additions to the draft version which was published for consultation in January 2010. Key changes to the draft guidelines include:
- Informing parties in the statement of objections of the relevant parameters for potential fines;
- Enhancing rights of complainants by extending state of play meetings in cartel cases in certain circumstances;
- Providing better access to companies under investigation to key submissions of complainants and third parties prior to the statement of objections; and
- The publication of rejection of complaints.
The Commission has also expanded the mandate of the Hearing Officer(s) whose role it is to monitor procedural rights.