On 2 June 2010, the European Ombudsman gave a decision on a complaint against the European Commission over refusal to provide access to documents which the complainants wished to use in a damages action before the national courts. The documents related to a Commission decision identifying a breach of competition law. The complainants sought disclosure on the basis that it would assist in establishing the intentional and strategic nature of the breach of competition law on which their action for compensation was based. The Commission refused, arguing that its decision was currently the subject of an appeal and that disclosure would undermine the commercial interests of the company concerned. The complainants asked the Ombudsman to intervene. After carrying out an assessment of the situation, the Ombudsman eventually agreed that the public interest in disclosure did not override the confidentiality issue. The reason for that conclusion is that there is an alternative mechanism (Article 15 of Regulation 1/2003) under which national courts in competition cases can obtain the documents directly from the Commission. This mechanism preserves the confidentiality of third parties,