The European Commission has published three new Best Practices Guidelines:

  1. Best Practices on the conduct of proceedings concerning Articles 101 and 102 TFEU

This document sets out changes in important aspects of such procedures, in particular earlier opening of proceedings (i.e., as soon as the initial assessment phase has been concluded), state of play meetings at key points of the proceedings, disclosure of key submissions, public announcement of the opening and closing of procedures and the sending of statements of objections, and guidance about how the new instrument of commitment procedures is used in practice.

  1. Best practices for the submission of economic evidence and data collection in cases concerning the application of articles 101 and 102 TFEU and in merger cases

This document describes officers’ various tasks and outlines how companies can make best use of a hearing. It also describes the reporting obligations and advisory role of hearing officers, the college of commissioners, and the addressees of European Commission (EC) decisions.

  1. Guidance on procedures of the Hearing Officers in proceedings relating to Articles 101 and 102 TFEU

This document outlines the criteria companies must meet when responding to an EC request for economic evidence in the course of an investigation (used, for example, in econometric analyses). Parties often submit arguments based on complex economic theories on their own initiative. The paper explains the practices of competition services teams, and the role of the chief economist in contacts with parties who submit economic evidence.